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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business.  

    July 13, 2013
    7:00 - 1:01am EDT  

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regulations need to be adapted to fit that? >> we try to adapt our regulations to the marketplace, within the four quarters of the statues we -- statutes. >> a chance to meet somebody behind-the-scenes, william lake >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, routes you as a public service by your television provider. >> friday, the justice department released new guidelines for conducting leak investigations for journalists. the department obtained personal phone records of the associated press. they said these
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revised guidelines will help ensure the proper balance is struck when pursuing investigation into authorized disclosures. while they will make a meaningful difference, there are protections. you can read the new guidelines online at our website www.c- span.org. quacks on the next washington journal, we will sit down with hilda soli's concerning the health care law -- we will sit viebeck aboute the healthcare law. dean clancy and lori load des. the former ambassador to morocco marc ginsberg discusses recent events in egypt and the response from the u.s. so far. all that plus your calls
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beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> next, a look behind the scenes of presidential marriages from woodrow wilson to george w. bush followed by president obama at this year's national medal of arts and humanities ceremony. later in memorial service for the firefighters who died fighting a wildfire in prescott arizona. >> on monday night, we are continuing our focus on first ladies. tonight and author speaks of her book "hidden power." she looks behind the scenes of presidential marriages from woodrow wilson to george w. bush. this is just under one hour.
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[applause] >> thank you. good morning. thank you for that wonderful introduction. you make me feel 100 years old. i am not. when i hear you say all you -- all those things, and makes you feel very privileged -- it makes you feel very privileged. i've have had a relatively short life. i'm happy to be here with you this morning. it is a privilege to be a guest at the miller center, following in the shoes of some of the most revered historians and statesmen
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and presidents. to be on this fabled campus, in the backyard of our greatest presidents. for anybody was a student of the president, it is a dream come true. thank you for that great introduction. i want to talk you about an aspect of the american presidency that i believe has been neglected by historians, that is my good fortune. and let me something new to dig up. that is presidential marriages. they impact the presidency. it is not a sidebar to the main story. not a sox sidebar to the main events of the american presidency. but, actually as a subject that is at the core of the
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presidency. my book, "hidden power," has a new chapter on the current occupants of the white house. a small plug, i hope you'll forgive it. it is called "hidden power." is about the american presidency. it was transformed by the tragic events of september 11. the president who began in office, just nine short months before, in the style of a corporate ceo trying to shrink government and keeping prosperity going, suddenly became the commander of chief -- the commander-in-chief of a nation at war. you have to go back to best truman to find her equal. in a time of national crisis, the country has expectations of the couple in the white house.
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embodiment of traditional values. some had seen that in danger. the values of homes, school, and faith. she played him for all of us. i suspect she is always play that role in her marriage. the role of studying with a ready hand to hold. she performed with great skill and grace. and cap. -- tact. they realized that, in laura bush, they had a strong political asset. this is recent proof of that statement. what an unexpected asset that mrs. bush had become. she started receiving the first
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barrage of criticism against the administration's sluggish response to explicit threat of terrorism prior to september 11. laura bush was summoned to respond to those charges. she emerged from a low-key trip to reply to her husband's critics. she said that, i think it is sad that people would play upon the victims families emotions in this way. she was saying, in effect, that those who question her husband's policies were exploiting the nation's grief. that was pretty tough, worthy of dick cheney. she delivered it in an unthreatening and even style. no one took exception. this is the new laura bush. she played a political role, reminiscent of her controversial
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predecessor. she was transformed by history. the nation has different expectations, as i've already said. we should distort memories of dolly madison saving george washington's portrait from the british fire. or eleanor roosevelt, bringing hitler's bonds and staying in buckingham palace during the blitz on london. she became fdr's eyes, ears, and likes. -- legs. we recall jackie katie refusing, during the cuban missile crisis,
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to be evacuated to a secret underground shelter. during the following year, of course, she had a brief with dignity. lady bird johnson test vigil with lbj when the body count kept mounting. she persuaded her husband that it was time to let go of the presidency and not seek reelection in 1968 in that famous speech that she was instrumental in crafting. of course, we did not know that at the time. these are powerful memories. marriage matters. in your house or in the white house.
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for a number of reasons, we treated this as something of a secondary issue to the presidency. in fact, the relationship between the president and his spouse has had political impact from abigail adams to laura bush. how the couple in the white house relates affects the presidency. we do not have any understanding of a given president without understanding the score relationship -- this core relationship. doris kearns goodwin studied the roosevelt during the second world war. she was a pioneer and a source of inspiration for my book, hidden power. historians tend to be male, with
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all due respect. they have ignored this important subject. i hope that i will persuade you this morning that marriage has consequences and presidential marriages have consequences for the nation. those unions have an impact our lives. presidential marriages are of a different order. i call my book "hidden power" because the full extent of the office of the president has been shrouded. both presidential couples and we the public -- we, the public, conspired to keep it secret. we are made nervous. they, the president of couples, do not want us to know the extent that they share it. i think it's time to lift the
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veil and get real. let me say that they are not who we think we -- who we think they are. they are too good at raising their own tracks and putting out an image of themselves. i would roosevelt, who was, by all accounts, a transformative first lady, against who all the others are judged, she was part of her husband's administration. their marriage was dysfunctional. i wonder was callous during fdr's final years. -- eleanor was callous during fdr's final years. jackie and jack were on their way to a solid unit -- union. it makes his assassination
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poignant and tragic. jackie was a much more serious and thoughtful public figure than the stylish ornaments that we often the picture as. nancy reagan was much more than wealthy and high-fashion. she nibbled her husband to function at maximum capacity. when his mental powers slept, she brought him -- slept -- slipped she brought him comfort. she was a woman of greater political skill that her husband. she never forgot a slight.
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she endowed george bush with his greatest political asset. barbara raised those kids. he was an assateague father. -- absentee father. for the most part, these marriages have played a constructive role. it has been only wives. i'm here to tell you that, before the end of our tenure here, we will see first gentleman. it shall be interesting to see how he deals with these problems. no one needs a strong partner other than the american president. sheltered and conclude as he is.
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-- cocooned as he is. those presidents have bring spouses that are willing to speak hard truths. those presidents have a distinct advantage. had pat nixon and able to cut through her husband's paranoia in -- paranoia, watergate could have been avoided. that nixon had given up. they were living separate lives, as you will see. i directed my husband advice, pat was quoted as saying. is there a man or woman alive who does not need advice from the person who knows him or her
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best western mark i think we know the answer to that. lady bird, with the combination of passion and great, got through to lbj and studied him studied him -- steadied him. everybody else has let me down, johnson once said. he was a deeply self pitying man. we categorize the spouses as shrews or victims. of the 12 couples that i write about, one spouse, the second mrs. woodrow wilson, ran the country while her husband was incapacitated by a stroke. to spouses saying their husbands residencies. -- 2 spouses saying -- saved
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thier husband's presidency. the others made substantial contributions to the presidency. the white house alters every marriage. suddenly, they are in daily contact and usually dependent -- mutually dependent. in the white house, the only two people that you have are each other. the nation feels the impact. maybe not right away, but, no doubt, the president's performance is affected. no management indicator impact on the office than the clintons.
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the story of the clinton presidency is the story of their marriage. there is a correlation between the clintons -- bill clinton's enormous debt to his wife and their attempt to forge a co- presidency. it is hard to imagine a clinton presidency surviving had hillary not whether the humiliation of her husband's shop -- saga. my gosh, we were years -- four years already. how different george bush would have looked if he was accompanied by -- bill clinton would have looked if he was accompanied by buddy, the dog. taking on the administration's
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biggest portfolio, health care reform, a huge miscalculation. we are not ready to give the first lady or first gentleman and independent operational role. the power is necessary for the partner. it cannot be external. it took a while to figure that out. once clinton did, she became a more effective first lady. by the way, i would roosevelt -- eleanor roosevelt went through a similar learning curve. eleanor roosevelt, the sanctity eleanor, was pilloried for that and was forced to give up the job. she never again had a similar mistake. she, too, as hillary, was forced
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to realize that her role in roosevelt's presidency was as the unofficial moral center of the administration. in the white house, the president and first lady are equal for the first time he does the first lady is as prestigious and as revered a title as the president. we have as many stories of the first lady as we do of the president. like it or not, the president
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has to accept his wife's stature. jackie kennedy -- jack kennedy was a macho man. he was startled by the impact of his young life -- wife, she was 31. women suddenly wanted to be jackie. they started dressing like jackie. everybody started learning french. john glenn was able bureau -- folk hero. everyone started taking up water skiing some, to the apparel.
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-- thier peril. john kennedy had a steep learning curve. they can to do a big feature him and asked to speak to jackie. president kennedy was dismissive of that. by the time he reached the famous state visit to paris, he introduced himself to the french as the man who accompanied jacqueline kennedy to paris. there were moments of high tension. we are living in one now.
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katie took a real beating during the cuban missile crisis. he we threw -- weeped through his backseat surgery -- back surgery. president johnson relied more on the road during the vietnam war. articulately, as the were crushing results for a great society. the stress he was living other under is crushing. he had a history of heart troubles and did not live long after his presidency. he had no interest in life outside the arena, as he called
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it. he had no interest in anything other than politics. lady bird, who herself, has lived to become one of our most admired and revered first ladies has a clear role in history. johnson's legacy is still clouded in controversy. the empowerment that the presidency confirms on both members of the couple often shares the dynamic between these couples and, almost all of them arlen married -- are long married. -- found her voice and platform and thrive in the white house.
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she became the true sayer. she talked about things that no other first lady had touched with a 10 foot pole. she talked about marijuana use. she talked about abortion. she talked about breast cancer. a taboo subject. later, she talked about drug addiction. she grasped, she was a very intuitive woman, she grasped that after the awkward spectacle of the nixon's, what the nation hungered for was authenticity from the white house. authenticity is what we got from the four's -- ford's. the republic survived. if the mark of the great
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president is one who grasps the issues of the day, the mark of a great first lady is one who grasps the ephemeral essence of her time. pat nixon missed her moment and betty ford grasped hers. a spouse can only do so much for a president. rosalynn carter, another example of a first lady who is a more astute politician that her husband. she could not sing the president, whose own vice president had the coldest nose of any politician that she ever met. bush has sharper political instincts than george bush.
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she could not think a man who had lost touch with the country. bush lacked the skills that the job required. the freedom that accompanied eleanor and franklin or bets and harry to live in raising her arms white house is -- his and hers white houses is over. the near-term loss of privacy. fdr admonished the press corps of -- not to take pictures of him being lifted out of the car.
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that is inconceivable -- that kind of respectful obedience of the president's wishes. jack kennedy was able to except contortionists torches from arabia and the president of ireland. -- gets from the president of arabia and the president of ireland. i believe that this current white house has benefited from the clintons missteps. it was the most controlled and most disciplined. my colleagues tell me is the most difficult to penetrate white house in many years. some of our most admired couples simply could not survive under the hot lights of all news all
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the time. this new level of scrutiny safeguards the country from much more than an overactive presidential libido. it enables a cover-up that allows an incapacitated woodrow wilson to cling to power. it was a virginian -- edith was a virginian and a formidable lady. edith was a woman who fearlessly grasped the helm of the state and did a very poor job, no surprise. did not really serve her husband's legacy thereby. she thought the white house would be good therapy, a good
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incentive for her husband's recovery. the president is many things, but it should not be a nursing home. when we elect a man president, and so far, only men, we have to acknowledge that we are infatuated into people. they cannot do it alone. if one of the to does not have their heart into it, it does not happen. it is too expensive, too humiliating for anything but 1000% commitment on the part of two people. what are the qualities that work well in these roles? loving each other helps, but it is not enough. the essential art -- the essential ingredients are a long history with all of the kinks worked out and a shared love of politics and people and very good performance skills.
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has to be willing to carry a lot of political water and hold back on personal demands for the requirements of the presidency. beth truman hated what she called the rigmarole of the presidency. she could not survive today. she could not make all of those trips to join her mother in independence, missouri. we simply would not stand for that. the sacrifice in terms of privacy lost is tremendous. those with a sense of history, like jackie, and they love of adventure like barbara bush, grab that glass ring and hold back on the demands for ordinary marital bliss. i have to say that laura bush was not display that relish of the new and unexpected. i suspect she would rather be back in austin or crawford, curled up in a good book.
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but the attacks that claimed the lives of 3000 of our countrymen has changed the bush presidency forever. laura has become the central reassuring face of a sometimes beleaguered administration, providing a necessary balance for her husband's righteous fury. ironically, the fact that she does not seem anxious for a public role or a bully pulpit, if you will, means that we are more willing to grant her that. it seems unlikely that she can ever slip back into her pre- september low-profile role. she has proved too valuable a political asset for her husband's presidency. like so many of their predecessors, the marriage and the presidency of george and laura bush has been transformed by history. thank you very much for your
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attention. [applause] i would be -- thank you. i would be delighted to hear your questions or comments or if you disagree with any of my views. this lady had her hand up. >> i was wondering if the region from which the woman comes, because the south is known for strong women. >> yes, this steel magnolias syndrome. >> yes, but still the grace. hillary comes out of chicago. it is a different background. and rosalynn carter is similar. does that have something to do with the perception of these women? >> no doubt. stylistically, rosalynn seems the other pole from hillary clinton.
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but she was, in some ways, as engaged in her husband's -- in most ways, as engaged as hillary. if you will recall, she insisted on attending cabinet meetings, something hillary never did. imagine if hillary had shown up at the cabinet table. the roof would have collapsed. or, a for example, nancy reagan, who actually was more integrated into her husband's administration than hillary. but she camouflaged it better. she was more subtle about it. she was never in the west wing. hillary taking an office in the west wing was a serious miscalculation. i think that she overestimated our readiness to, as i said in my comments, to cede the first
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lady such a role. we do not want that. we want her to keep her partner steady and on an even keel and give him the support that we all want him to have. but do not rub our faces in it. maybe there is some hypocrisy in that. but those are the rules. yes, you had a question. >> giving the changing culture for multiple divorces, don't you think it is likely that, sooner or later, we will have an unattached resident? when that time comes, give us an idea about how you would write an extra chapter in your book about that resident. -- that president. >> wow. maybe you can help me with that. funny enough, no divorce has ever followed the president. these couples are really strongly united.
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unlike our marriages, if i can speak for our marriages, a presumption on my part, these are marriages that have a singular focus, that ambition, 1600 pennsylvania avenue. they really march in step. as i said, because it does take the commitment of two of them, it kind of unites them in that ambition. that is a real cement. as to your point about, sooner or later, will we have a divorced or single president, i tell you, he or she will be handicapped in the race. i am not ruling it out, but it is such an advantage to have that partner because 50% of the listing for you is -- and maybe out of some residual nostalgia
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for the monarchy that we worked so hard to shake off. we do like the pop and -- pomp and ceremony that accompanies the first couple and so many traditions a company that -- ac company that image. we are pretty attached to the first couple note and -- notion. because the presidency combines both the prime minister and the ceremonial head of state role, it really is the first person, the first lady, eventually first gentleman, performs a useful and necessary role in my view. since the white house is not only where they work, but also where they entertain.
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it is necessary. if you will indulge, because my plane was a little bit late, i did not hear your whole injured -- introduction. i did not know if you mention i was married to ambassador richard holbrook. richard was ambassador to the united nations until last year, when there seems to have been some shift in washington and i think a new guy came in. anyways, we lived in the official residence of the american ambassador to the united nations, the waldorf astoria, where george bush the elder had also lived with his children. i had to suddenly do a tremendous amount of hostessing and entertaining. three or four events per week. i was trying to hang on by the tips of my fingernails to my
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life as a writer and other things that you described, my nonprofit work. but boy, it was tough, i will tell you. that took a lot of time, the seating and the flower arrangements. and you care. in your home, you care what that even turns out to be. you get very drawn in. i feel sorry for a president who would not have that support and that partner. i do not think that hiring someone to do it is the same thing. that is just my opinion. >> i have the perfect model for you. if you need it. at virginia rusk was the best secretaries first lady that i have ever known. she was never out front, but she did all the detailed work night and day. >> she was a lovely woman. it would be lovely to need that
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role model. this question says, you made no mention of the eisenhower's. why? >> very smart question. i think i have a good explanation. i explained in the book why. this book is not an anthology of presidential couples. it is those couples, and i exercised the authors prerogative here, that i felt really made a contribution and a political impact together. the eisenhower's were a real throwback. to another age. she was more the general lady and first lady. she had very little interest in her husband's administration and rarely rose before noon. it is perfectly lovely in that
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limited role, but i could not be devoting a serious chapter to their interaction when the interaction has almost no impact on the eyes our -- on the eisenhower presidency. i skipped a lot of one's, for example, the coupled that followed roosevelt, between roosevelt and truman -- i am sorry, between roosevelt and eisenhower. i skipped the harding's and the movers -- the hoover's and the coolidge's. those couples did not leave an imprint on our generation. all of the others did. i hope you will agree. if you have any other comments
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on presidential marriages before the 1900s -- that would be another book. i started with woodrow and edith wilson. this is a look at the modern presidencies. like many of you, i read with utter fascination the tremendous work on john adams. i read the correspondence between abigail and john adams and the correspondence of that quality, i think, i wish i had -- there is a book about the adams'and i wish i had thought of it myself. it was a tremendous partnership which really enriched the nation and i think, in a way, it confirms my thesis that presidents who can rely on a fearless, smart, honest harder
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really have an advantage -- partner really have an advantage. john adams certainly had that in abigail. either way, for high-quality correspondence between a president and his spouse, you could do worse than looking to the chapter on the trumans. harry truman wrote his wife almost every day. they were a part a lot given all of her trips to independence. he was so miserable. he missed her so much. he was constantly writing to her and he never stopped courting that. -- beth. those letters are of such quality and such a compliment to beth. he shared everything with her. he shared his fears on the eve of his meeting with stalin.
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and at the same time, apologetic that he is running all over berlin looking for chanel no. 5 and he cannot find it. [laughter] i thought, wow, what a guy. harry truman gets my gold star for best husband. ok, what is some of your evidence that barbara bush had any effect on george bush? i hope whoever asked this question will read my chapter on the bush's. i do lay it out in some detail. primarily through interviews with participants and people who work in the white house as well as the privilege of spending some time with president and mrs. bush the elder. they were our first house guests when we took up our post at the u.n. it was the first time they had
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been back there since they left several decades earlier. there was a lovely moment when the president and mrs. bush walked into our home and we had the same housekeeper that they had. you can imagine she is no spring chicken, but dorothy is still there. if president and dorothy just embraced and we stood back and let them have their moment. then president bush said, "do rothy, take me to the room where my mother used to stay." dorothy led him to the room and he went in there and stayed and had a conversation with his mother while the rest of us stayed behind. anyway, that is just a memory i treasure from our tenure at the united nations. i have had the opportunity to observe their interaction and i have no doubt that barbara bush had tremendous impact on the
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presidency of her husband. largely positive, but again, she was much less overt about that role. than, for example, mrs. clinton. in part, it is a generational thing. the larry clinton was of the generation that came of age in the early 1970s. i am of that generation. he had different expectations. he never doubted that we would have careers. to hillary, i interviewed her for this book and she told me flat out that she was the wilderness by the role. she had always had a defined job ascription. the first lady does not have a defined job description.
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as i said, it is a subtle, f femoral thing -- ephemoral thing to respond to the countries needs of that moment. and our countries needs -- our country's needs are shifting. i think she handled it well. >> we are going to go a few minutes over our 12:00 adjournment if we can. i have a few questions and then i would like all of you to let kati marton go out before all of you do. we have had the experience with some book signings. everybody leaves and there is nobody to sign books for. so just a few more questions. >> does anybody have any comments or questions? >> is there anything about the president's children? >> president's children, traditionally, i am afraid do not fare very well.
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they do not get a whole lot of attention, especially the ones who are young enough to suffer from the absentee father and lack of attention. the roosevelt children are case in point. i am not sure the carter children did as well as they might have. you can do a whole another book on presidential children. the lucky ones are of an age where they are beyond -- for example, the current children, although they had a few problems, were sort of too old to be impacted by the presidency. i have to say that, for all their personal problems, the clintons raised a very good daughter. she is, in many ways, a model daughter. they managed to shield her. they were pretty ruthless about keeping the media from chelsea and chelsea really, to me,
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represents the best of both of her parents. she is a very serious and highly motivated young woman who, as you know, is studying at oxford university. it is not much fun being the child of a politician, especially one who is as single- minded as you have to be to get elected president. any others? >> you said that hillary's handling of the health program was an enormous miscalculation. i agree with you. do you think that it might have been different if she had had a good plan instead of an appallingly bad plan? do you think it might have been different if she had any skill whatsoever in handling the development of such a program, that is the political development? >> without getting into the
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particulars of her health plan, which i do get into in my long chapter on the clintons, i think the difference would have been marginal. it was just a bad idea from the get go for the president to give his wife such an enormous role. she became, and even if she had handled it flawlessly and had done everything you would have wished, we, the public, would have been suspicious and resentful if she would have become a lightning rod. it was just a bad idea. but they learned and they repositioned. she never again undertook anything like that, thank god. >> people outside of the country has helped us understand our own institutions.
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did that help you? >> i consider myself -- yes, i am an immigrant, a refugee to these shores. you mentioned that i was born in budapest and escape hungary with my parents when i was a small child. but we are a nation of immigrants. i live in a city that is, i think, at last count, 40% immigrants or refugees. so i consider myself, in some ways, a typical american. maybe my european background gives me a certain perspective. perhaps your virginia background give you a different background and my new york background. this book is very much an opinionated book.
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tremendous research went into it. it was not a book i could have written in my 20s. it is a book that is informed by my life and my experiences of marriage, of observing others, of trying to juggle the multitude of things that many of us are trying to juggle in our lives, particularly when in. children -- particularly women. children, career, house. all of these things in hidden power, for sure. no doubt my european background is one of those things. >> any other westerns? -- questions? >> you had a lot of things to say with the exception of edith wilson and pat nixon. i wonder if there was an abuse of power of the first lady, if
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you feel there has been some distinct kind of negative impact? >> most definitely on the part of edith wilson, who did not serve her husband's or the nation's interests. that was a tragic miscalculation. however, pat nixon, i have nothing but compassion for pat nixon. i think she -- i call that chapter "miss alliance" because her husband paid her the most avid court and kind of miss led her into thinking that he was not going to go into politics. she just was not that out or that life. pat loved the public life, to enjoy it. she suffered every step of the way. as her husband became more and more of a lightning rod, she retreated more and more. we could observe her withering in the white house from neglect.
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in the chapter on the nixons, i many really painful examples of how -- i cite many really painful examples of how abused she was. abuse can take many forms, not only a black eye. abuse can be neglect and pat nixon was woefully neglected. i think we all felt that pain. >> i do hope you write about the earlier century and the residential marriages -- presidential marriages.
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it is so great. i have enjoyed about half of your book, which my granddaughter gave me. >> thank you. >> although the presidential marriages are really of most interest to most of us at the national levels with which you are familiar. i wonder if you have thought about or written about other areas where couples make such a difference. i am thinking of ministers roles, college presidencies and so on. i do not know whether those would be as saleable.
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>> you raise a very interesting point. one of the things that i did not expect from writing this book is to what extent women identify with hidden power. so many women has -- have felt their own power has been hidden and they contribute enormously to their husbands careers. it was always this sense of really that we did not credit them sufficiently for that. so i went around the country when "hidden power" first came out this fall and it was very gratifying to hear though many women of all generations, up to me and say, thank you for writing that. i feel that you have done a
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service for all of us who work so hard on our partner's careers. and yet the men always get all the credit. i know that i could not do what i do without my husband's support. if you were here, i hope he would say the same thing. he better. [laughter] yeah. absolutely. if richard is watching c-span, i hope he hears this. honestly, we all need somebody standing behind us. it does not have to be a husband. but somebody who's in eyes -- in whose eyes you can do no wrong and who will be your cheerleader and who catches you when you
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make a fool of yourself. we all need that. nobody needs it more than the american president. that is the point of "hidden power." let's grant the president that right, to have a strong, empowering partner. we all benefit from a president with such a partner. we have underestimated that until now. >> that seems to be a good note >> which to finish. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] the second season of first ladies begins september 9. watch all the episodes of season one online at c-span.org. join the conversation on facebook and follow us on antter.>> it is anachronistic to say he is a household name. was better known in
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washington or franklin. he wrote many of america's state papers. there was legislation, constitutions. he also wrote many more things for ordinary american will. he spoke to them in a way that very few other leaders did. include newspaper articles and america's first patriotic song. my interest came out of my interest in early american political theory and religion and started out studying quakers in the colonial. . his got to the revolution name kept coming up. when i try to research them i cannot find anything about him or very little. everything there was very conflict did. no one was able to understand
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the actions. >> learn more next week and is a look at the history and literally life ladye president and first in the memorial service for the firefighters who lost their lives in a wildfire last week with remarks by vice president joe biden. if potential changes regarding filibusters. >> president obama presents in the2012 national medal of arts and humanities medals in a ceremony at the white house. recipients include george lucas and kay ryan.
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♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and first lady obama. [applause] >> hello, everybody. thank you so much. thank you. hey! thank you. everybody, please have a seat. see, everybody is cheering because i've bought their books, i've seen their movies, i buy their records. [laughter]
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so we're major contributors here. well, hello, everybody, and welcome to the white house. thank you for joining us to celebrate the recipients of the 2012 because i guess this is retrospective -- national medal of arts and national humanities medals. one of the special privileges of this office is getting a chance to honor individuals who've played an important role in my life as well as in the nation's life. and that's what today is all about -- celebrating some extraordinary men and women who've used their talents in the arts and the humanities to open up minds and nourish souls, and help us understand what it means to be human, and what it means to be an american. i want to give some special thanks to the people who help to preserve and to support that
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cultural legacy -- the acting chairwoman of the national endowment for the arts, joan shigekawa.[applause] give joan a big round of applause. where is she? there she is. and her predecessor, the irrepressible rocco landesman, as well as the acting chairwoman of the national endowment for the humanities, carole watson. [applause] both organizations do an incredible job lifting up some of today's best artists and scholars, and helping to cultivate the next generation of talent and intellect. and i'd like to also acknowledge the co-chairs of the president's committee on the arts and humanities, george stevens, jr. where's george? there he is. [applause]
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as well as margo lion -- where's margo? good to see you. [applause] as well as members of congress who are here today, all of whom support the arts. but we are primarily here to acknowledge these incredible individuals. and, frankly, this is just fun for me because i feel like i know you all because i've enjoyed your performances. your writings have fundamentally changed me, i think for the better, marilynne. i believe that. at first glance, this is a pretty diverse group. we've got incredible singers and dancers. we have poets and producers, musicians, playwrights, scholars. they come from all across the country, all around the world.
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and yet, for all their differences, today's honorees have one thing in common -- and that is they are teachers. whether they realize it or not, they've taught us about ourselves and about our world. american philosopher will durant once wrote, "the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." and that's an extraordinary skill -- to tell the untold stories of history, to reveal the sculpture that's waiting there in a block of stone, to transform written music into song, to make it look like those planes in space are actually flying like they are.[laughter] i'm just saying, i remember when i first saw "star wars."
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there's a whole generation that thinks special effects always look like they do today. but it used to be you'd see, like, the string on the little model spaceships.[laughter] anyway, i'm being led astray. because the arts and the humanities aren't just a source of entertainment, they challenge us to think and to question and to discover, to seek that inward significance -- and that helps us grow and to change and to reach new heights, and to understand each other at a time when the world is constantly crying for the capacity to bridge that gap and speak to people who aren't like us. and that's exactly what these
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artists and these humanists have done, by working hard, developing their craft, following their dreams, never giving up. somebody like allen toussaint, who is being honored here for his incredible contributions to the rhythm and blues and jazz music of his beloved new orleans. after his hometown was battered by katrina and allen was forced to evacuate, he did something even more important for his city he went back. and since then, allen has devoted his musical talent to lifting up and building up a city. and today, he's taking the stage all over the world, with all kinds of incredible talent, doing everything he can to revive the legendary soul of the big easy. somebody like ernest gaines, who grew up as the descendent of sharecroppers in the south and farming the same land as his ancestors.
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he did not let that define his future. instead, he took that experience and used it to help fill in gaps in american literature with the stories of african american life. and then, ernest moved back to louisiana, onto the very same land he and his family had once worked. and he spent more than 20 years teaching college students to find their own voices and reclaiming some of the stories of their own families and their own lives. somebody like joan didion, who rightly, has earned distinction as one of most celebrated american writers of her generation. i'm surprised she hasn't already gotten this award. but in her early years, she was in school only sporadically, basically taught herself how to read while she and her family followed her army officer father around the country. she obviously learned quickly. she won a contest for vogue in
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college, gave up her dream of being an oceanographer, writing became her world. and today, decades into her career, she remains one of our sharpest and most respected observers of american politics and culture. what's true for those three is true for all the recipients here. so many of you have touched me and touched michelle, and now we're trying to get them to -- malia and sasha to see some of anna's work, or read "the iliad" because we want to share that, because we think it was important to us. and we celebrate people like our honorees here today not just because of their talent, but because they create something new. they create a new space and that becomes a lasting contribution to american life. and that's
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true for all of these honorees. so together, the men and women with us today have helped us appreciate individual talent, but as i said earlier, they've also helped us to bridge our differences -- to recognize all the things we share as americans, whether it's arts or humanities or sports. frank, i grew up reading "sports illustrated," and i think it was very good for me.[laughter] i don't know about you. because all these endeavors, they don't discriminate, they don't prejudge -- they speak to all of us equally if we're open to it. they're part of all of our common heritage. they convey all these distinct voices and emotions and stories, and that's us. that's who we are. so for more than 200 years that
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culture has helped shape our views of democracy and freedom and tolerance and progress. sometimes the observations or the incredible art or scholarship that's been done by these honorees are overlooked, but somewhere they're having an impact. and like bobby kennedy talked about, they create "ripples of hope." they're like stones in a lake, and it emanates, and we never know exactly how, or who, will be touched by it. but it makes a difference. and it's made us better. and the work that we honor today, the lifetime achievement of these artists and these scholars, reminds us that the human imagination is still the most powerful tool that we have as a people. that's why we celebrate their creativity and the fundamental optimism, the notion that if they work that hard somebody will actually pay attention.
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that's why we have to remain committed to the dreamers and the creators and innovators who fuel that progress and help us light the way ahead, because our children, our grandchildren deserve to grow up in a country where their dreams know no bounds and their ambitions extend as far as their talents and hard work can take them. and it's important that they have examples -- people who've carved out a path for them. so i want to thank today's honorees for doing their part to foster that spirit, to enrich our entire nation. every one of them has helped us see beyond outward appearances and appreciate the significance of what's within. and for that we are incredibly grateful. so it is now my privilege to present these medals to each of them as one of our military aides reads their citations. [applause]
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>> national medal of arts recipients. herb alpert, for his varied contributions to music and the fine arts. the musician behind tijuana brass phenomenon and co-founder of a&m records, which launched several storied careers, mr. alpert is also a philanthropist who shares the power of arts education with young people across our country. [applause]
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--n arison. for her lin harrison. [applause] for her contributions as a philanthropist and arts education advocate. co-founder of the national youngarts foundation and the new world symphony, ms. arison's work celebrates, showcases, and supports the next generation of great american artists. [applause]
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joan myers brown. [applause] for her contributions as a dancer, choreographer and artistic director. founder of the philadelphia dance company, ms. brown carved out an artistic haven for african american dancers and choreographers to innovate, create, and share their unique visions with the national and global dance communities. [applause] renee fleming. [applause]
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for her contributions to american music. known to many as "the people's diva," ms. fleming has captivated audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop. [applause] ernest j. gaines. [applause] for his contributions as an author and teacher. drawing deeply from his childhood in the rural south, his works have shed new light on
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the african american experience and given voice to those who have endured injustice. [applause] ellsworth kelly. [applause] for his contributions as a painter, sculptor and printmaker. a careful observer of form, color and the natural world, mr. kelly has shaped more than half a century of abstraction and remains a vital influence in american art. [applause]
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tony kushner. [applause] for his contributions to american theater and film. whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy, and the philosophical to the personal. [applause]
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george lucas. [applause] for his contributions to american cinema. by combining the art of storytelling with boundless imagination and cutting-edge techniques, mr. lucas has transported us to new worlds and created some of the most beloved and iconic films of all time. [applause] elaine may.
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[applause] for her contributions to american comedy. with groundbreaking wit and a keen understanding of how humor can illuminate our lives, ms. may has evoked untold joy, challenged expectations, and elevated spirits across our nation. [applause] laurie olin. [applause] for his contributions as a preeminent landscape architect. renowned for his acute sense of
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harmony and balance between nature and design, mr. olin has dedicated his energy to shaping many iconic spaces around the world and to educating new leaders in his art. [applause] allen toussaint. [applause] for his contributions as a composer, producer and performer. born and raised in new orleans, mr. toussaint has built a legendary career alongside america's finest musicians, sustaining his city's rich tradition of rhythm and blues, and lifting it to the national stage. [applause]
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accepting on behalf of washington performing arts society, jenny bellfield. [applause] for bringing world-class performances to our nation's capital. from concert hall premieres to in-school workshops, washington performing arts society has drawn renowned artists to the washington community and inspired generations of young performers to follow their passions. [applause]
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national humanities medal l. ayers..edward [applause] for his commitment to making our history as widely available and accessible as possible. dr. ayers's innovations in digital humanities extend higher learning beyond campus boundaries and allow broad audiences to discover the past in new ways. [applause] accepting on behalf of william -- bowen, david bowen, for his
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[applause] for his contributions to the study of economics and his probing research on higher education in america. while his widely discussed publications have scrutinized the effects of policy, dr. bowen has used his leadership to put theories into practice and strive for new heights of academic excellence.[applause] jill ker conway. [applause] for her contributions as a historian and trailblazing academic leader.
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dr. conway has inspired generations of scholars, and her studies of exceptional and empowered women have revealed a common drive that unites women across the globe to create, to lead, and to excel. [applause] natalie zemon davis. [applause] for her insights into the study of history and her exacting eloquence in bringing the past into focus. with vivid description and exhaustive research, her works allow us to experience life through our ancestors' eyes and to engage truly with our history. [applause]
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frank deford. [applause] for transforming how we think about sports. a dedicated writer and storyteller, mr. deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love. [applause]
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joan didion. [applause] for her mastery of style in writing. exploring the culture around us and exposing the depths of sorrow, ms. didion has produced works of startling honesty and fierce intellect, rendered personal stories universal, and illuminated the seemingly peripheral details that are central to our lives. [applause]
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robert d. putnam. [applause] for deepening our understanding of community in america. examining how patterns of engagement divide and unite, dr. putnam's writing and research inspire us to improve institutions that make society worth living in, and his insights challenge us to be better citizens. [applause] marilynne robinson.
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[applause] for her grace and intelligence in writing. with moral strength and lyrical clarity, dr. robinson's novels and nonfiction have traced our ethical connections to people in our lives, explored the world we inhabit, and defined universal truths about what it means to be human. [applause] kay ryan. [applause] for her contributions as a poet and educator.
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a former poet laureate of the united states, her witty and compact verse infused with subtle wordplay, reminds us of the power of language to evoke wisdom from the ordinary. [applause] robert b. silvers. [applause] for offering critical perspectives on writing. as the editor and co-founder of the new york review of books, he has invigorated our literature with cultural and political commentary, and elevated the book review to a literary art form. [applause]
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anna deavere smith. [applause] for her portrayal of authentic american voices. through profound performances and plays that blend theater and journalism, she has informed our understanding of social issues and conveyed a range of disparate characters. [applause]
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camilo jose vergara. [applause] for his stark visual representation of american cities. by capturing images of urban settings over time, his sequences reflect the vibrant culture of our changing communities and document the enduring spirit that shines through decay. [applause] >> let's give our honorees one more big round of applause. [applause]
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well, i could not imagine a more deserving group of honorees. we are thrilled to have them here. fear not, the party is not over. my understanding is the food here at the white house is not bad. and we may get some nice tunes from our marine band -- they can play anything, so feel free to make requests. but to all the honorees, thank you, again, for enriching our lives in so many different ways. we're going to have an opportunity to see you and your families, and take some pictures with the honorees. in the meantime, enjoy the reception. and thank you all. i hope you've enjoyed it. thank you. [applause] touched upon that
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women cannot predict their roles in entering into the white house. i did find one observer who commented that mary started with mr. lincoln when he was a poor, young man with no more idea to being called to the presidency than being a cannibal. however, i try and lay out in my book and educated as that mary lincoln when not have let human sacrifice, between her that her goal because she was a determined woman. she did talk about mr. lincoln of entering the white house. trueas somebody who was a political partner. >> as we continue our conversation on first ladies, we would hear from historians and authors about the role of the first lady and how it has has changed along with the nation. memorial service for the 19 firefighters who died in arizona wildfire last month.
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the 19 men were part of the hotshot unit whose purpose was setting up barriers that would prevent the spread of wildfires. speaking at the service was the survivor, brendan mcdonough, the arizona governor, and vice president joe biden. [applause] gentlemen will present the names of the fallen hotshot crew. in order to assist us with presentations, we ask that only representatives for each family to stand with your loved one's name is called. untilu remain standing the presenter reaches your seats. at that point, members of the family who wish to receive the american flag, the arizona flag.
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eric marsh jesse steed clayton whitted robert caldwell travis carter chris mackenzie travis turbyfill
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andrew ashcraft joe thurston wade parker anthony rose garret zuppiger scott norris dustin deford william warneke kevin woyjeck john percin
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grant mckee >> ready.er
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when i am down and, oh my soul, so weary; when troubles come and my heart burdened be; then, i am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit awhile with me. you raise me up, so i can stand on mountains; you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas; i am strong, when i am on your shoulders; you raise me up, to more than i ♪an be.
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you raise me up, so i can stand on mountains; you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas; i am strong, when i am on your shoulders; you raise me up, to more than i can be.
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there is no life - no life without its hunger; each restless heart beats so imperfectly; but when you come and i am filled with wonder, sometimes, i think i glimpse eternity. you raise me up, so i can stand on mountains; you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas; i am strong, when i am on your
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shoulders; you raise me up, to more than i can be. you raise me up, so i can stand on mountains; you raise me up, to more than i can be. ♪ >> i am pleased to introduce the kuykendall.in
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mr. mayor? >> it is still morning, so i would like to say good morning families, and ladies and gentlemen. hotshotste mountain were the ultimate team of people. a family of brothers when they were away from their own families. also very important that we remember that they were brilliant and caring individuals. each plank his unique and important role in this world. brothers,fathers,
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, and friends, mentors leaders. whether they were born in prescott or become a part of our community, we consider each of them to be one of our sons. and as an extension that each family is part of the community of prescott. is a small town. todayat i pledge to you is that we will do our best to remember each man in his own right. we'll be here to support you, to you, toyou, to cry with laugh with you, and to remember with you.
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prescott will always be a home .o you if you want us we are honored to have you as a part of our family. i hope that commitment brings you some comfort as you struggle to move forward and remember your loved ones as they lift. full of life and promise and passion for you and their work. , but also loved being known as a granite mountain hotshots. menhe fire world, these were world trained crew who protected families, lives, and properties across the nation. they made a difference to thousands of families with the work that they did and loved. "fallen firefighters,"
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has been used to describe these men and their sacrifices. not as havingm having but rather at risen. risen far above any of us to a place of peace and comfort. , tohe families and friends hereotshot crews that are today and fought fires along with our great men, i pray for your healing. i hope my words and more importantly that our continued support of you for years to come will bring give comfort. thank you and god bless. [applause]
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>> at this time i am pleased to present our governor jan brewer. advocates of the firefighting community in arizona and i have had the privilege of working with her on numerous issues to further protect our firefighters, their families, and our communities. madam governor? [applause] >> thank you, jim. senators,resident, , federal napolitano officials, members of congress, state legislatures, and local
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officials, and my fellow arizonans. good morning. on behalf of the people of the state of arizona and especially the citizens in and around your ell, thank you for being here today. together, we can begin our healing. we come today to honor and mourn 19 great men. they were protectors, defending our community, safeguarding our friends, family, and strangers alike. ever 19 heroes -- they were 19 heroes gone at the turn of the wind. to the families who lost husbands and fathers, brothers and sons, we cannot truly know your grief.
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but you are in our thoughts and .rayers and we will always our hearts are filled with profound sadness today. but they are also filled with great pride. how wonderful it is to know the -- and that arizona was home to 90 men like those we honor today. men were all of the 19 each oneona, we claim as our own. these men aspired to be firefighters and adored -- endured the training and discipline to gain that title. they carry out their duties with honor worthy of the name,
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granite mountain hotshots. while we grieve and mourn the tragic loss of these great men and do our best to console their beautiful families, we cannot despair. despair,es us not to but to have hope. says the god of all grace who calls us to our in afteral christ -- eternal you have suffered a little while will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. the brave 19 are in a gentle embrace of god and they continue to protect. i am filled with hope the way
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the communities have come together in the wake of this tragedy. it is hope that firefighters from all over the country pouring into this region to battle yarnell hill fire. arizona has responded. like i knew they would. with candlelight vigils and prayers, generals financial contributions, with flowers, and notes placed it gently at a makeshift memorials. this is the arizona i know. is hope i have in my heart fortified by knowing that americans all across his country have prayed for the brave 19 we lost and their families and have provided resources to this
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community. say, thank you. i also appreciate the swiftness of assistance we received from the federal government to tackle the fire. i want to thank president obama for his kind words in the wake of this tragedy and for offering any assistance our state needs during this trying time. please takesident, our gratitude. arizona and america are united in prayer and in admission of recovery with god's grace and with time, we will recover. 19, we will never forget their sacrifice and that of your family. it is our duty now to .elp and to protect your family
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may god bless and watch over them. daschle bless and protect the many firefighters and first responders who serve so courageously every day and may god bless the great state of arizona and her people. introducemy honor to the vice president of the united states, vice president joe biden. [applause] rex governor -- >> governor, andk you for introducing me our heart goes out to you and the mayor and the people prescott and arizona for the
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terrible tragedy you have endured. chief dan fraijo, my good and close friend, we have importantly shared too many days like this. honoring a fallen firefighter. , thank god.cdonough and the governor of new mexico, my friend. the seven members of congress are here. especially the one who met me at the airport and welcomed me to arizona. the two symmetry jeff flake -- and two symmetry jeff flake -- flake, anator jeff
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native son of arizona. friend and companion for over three decades, a man i admire as much as any man i have ever met, john mccain. john knew my mom. , you areed to say defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty. i can think of no better definition of john mccain than that. a man like the man we honor today. a man of uncommon valor. , along with the two
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secretaries who are with us today, your former governor as secretary of the interior. humbled to be here with you. standing in front of the families of the men we honor today and so many of their brethren. psalm 122:1 reads i will lift my eyes to the hills for whence cometh my help. it came. form of 20the rushed hotshots who
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toward the flames as everyone else retreated. themn the process, 19 of gave their lives. these these are the most the most discipline, tenacious, physically fit men in the world. unit in every sense of that phrase. -- an elite unit in every sense of the phrase. their motto sums them up. respect."egrity, jobs,aw their jobs not as but as a duty to their fellow
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citizens. they understood what you do. integrity is measured by whether you respond to the needs of your neighbors, when you know you are one of the few, and only once the have the capacity to respond. respectect, they showed time and again for the innocents caught in the path of the fires, desperate to save their families , and in most cases, the one thing the only truly own, their home. the granite mountain hotshots, or part of a small, elite band of firefighters.
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only 108 hotshot crews and all of america, and many are here today to honor the fallen. to understand what i mean about their courage and valor, look into the eyes of these men and women. just look into their eyes. to need not do anything else understand. firefightersere thomas lived life to the fullest every single day. life just asrough they race to embrace the fight against raging fires, the raging fire on the hill. lives.brace life to save
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i did not have the privilege of knowing any one of these heroes personally. but i know them. i know them. iclip jumper, rock climber, remount biker, a football player, a veteran, a son of a firefighter. i know them. confident, committee, determined, trustworthy, passionate, they were firefighters. i know them because they saved when ae of my two sons tractor-trailer broadsided my daughter, my wife, and my two sons. died, butd daughter
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for my fire service, my two sons would've. the jaws of life working for 1.5 hours save them. -- saved them. they saved my guys, my firefighters. they saved my life in the middle of a snowstorm, when i had to be .ushed to a hospital it was my far company -- my fire company. i know them. home and my wife jill when lightning struck my home and engulfed all three floors with thickets of smoke that no one could enter. if a god, one could leave -- but
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thank god, one could leave. jill and i know you. breed. a rare there is an old saying. all men are created equal, and then a few became firefighters. equal, but created then, a few became firefighters. god for you all. willingnessr your to take the risks that you do. we all owe you. we also owe your families.
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them.pported hotshots.ted these the english poet john milton wrote, "they also served who ."ly stand and wait were not only heroes on sunday, june 30, 2013. families, they were heroes long before we knew their names. you not only no, but now feel in
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your very bones the meaning of chapter 13. john greater love hath no man than this am a that a man lay down his life for his friends. what makes you family members incredible, the husband's, the wives, the moms, dads, the knew since they chose to be firefighters, since they joined the hotshot crew, you knew they were risking laying down their lives every single time they answered a call. every time they walked out the door, you knew it may be the
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last time you would see that confident smile, feel that tender touch. hear that voice saying, "i love you." they reached the fear of thated in dreaded phone call, fearing the came, the when it pain and the loss were more profound than you ever imagined. i remember getting that call. the feeling of being sucked into a giant void in your chest. reality,pt to suspend
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.he sense of slow-motion my god, this cannot be true. supported them. that firefighting was not what they did, it was who they were. now, your loved ones join an incredible list of elite firefighters, and a long history , filled with ordinary americans doing extraordinary, extraordinary things. resolve, and uncommon perseverance in the face of unfathomable challenges. children we teach our
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that these qualities of courage ,nd resolve, and perseverance these qualities are ingrained in our national character as americans. i believe they are. i believe they intimate our national identity. i believe america will continue example of thee didordinary men who extraordinary things. amazing thing is, not one of them doubted the danger they face. not one of you in front of me doubts the danger you will face when the call comes again. yet, take the risk when you hear
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the call. you respond. they responded as they always did, running toward danger, not away from it. instinct.te of human they acted. they acted as citizen patriots have acted since the beginning of this country. they stood up and stood their ground. when we think of the 19, it gives us confidence as a people. confidence knowing that ordinary citizens have the capacity to do such extraordinary things, to stare down fear, overwhelmed danger, and bring hope to the hopelessness. continues to amaze us, but it should not surprise us.
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ouract of selflessness definition of who your husband, brother, your son, your father was. my guess is, without knowing them, they were not there just to fight fires. they were there to line the little league field. they were there when somebody's car broke down. they were there. they were there. they were always there. my mother had another expression. she said, courage lies in every heart. expectation is that one day it will be summoned. on sunday, june 30, 2013, it was summoned. 20 incredible men answered the
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call. paraphrase john 15, they laid down their lives so that others could lived. 19 of them. i know we know all of them were heroes long before we knew them. they are the fathers that tuck you in bed at night, the husband who knew your fears before you even had to express them. ,he brother who lifted you up and made you smile. that brought sons you joy just saying their face. it made you proud and grateful to god that you had them.
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they arehat irreplaceable. we all know that. well, no memorial service, no words, no acts can fill the void that is left in your hearts. we also know the collective spirit of your father, son, husband, brother, that spirit lives on in every single one of you. the 6000es no one people here come -- people here, but the millions watching and hearing about your family members as i speak. of thes on the character hotshots assembled here today, in the heart of every firefighter who was ever answered the call.
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we owe you, your families, a gigantic debt beyond what we can never pay. pay.at we can ever i also know from personal experience, as unbelievable as it is, as unbelievable as it is to fathom it, the day will come when the memory of your husband, your son, your dad, your brother will bring a smile to your lips before it rings a tear to your eye. my prayer for all of you is that that day will come sooner than later. i promise you, as unbelievable as it is, it will come.
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it will come. words of the hymn we heard the beginning, i hope for you as it may lift you up on eagles wings, bear you on the , and make the sun to shine on you. because it will, it will again. all.od bless you may god and place your family members -- embrace your family members. may everyone know that there is an entire family in brotherhood and sisterhood of firefighters that will be there for you the .est of your life's -- lives god bless you all, and may god protect firefighters everywhere. [applause]
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♪ skies,tiful for spacious for amber waves of grain. majesty,e mountains
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.bove the fruited plains , god shed hisca grace on thee. brown died good -- crown thy from sea brotherhood, to shining sea o beautiful -- ♪
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america, america, god mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law o beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife self their country loved and mercy more than life america
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refine thy gold till all success be nobleness divinery gain ♪ beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, mountain majesties plain he fruited america
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e d shed his grace on the and crown thy good with brotherhood rom sea to shining sea ♪ ♪ >> the fire officers and firefighters and the fire department represented by the prescott chapter of the united
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3066.ghters, local it is my pleasure to introduce our local president and my friend for the -- my friend. dan has literally been everywhere. the families of our fallen heroes, tending to the needs, and assisting with funeral arrangements, to make sure that the wishes and each -- of each family are honored. dan has worked tirelessly to address the needs of his membership, and their families, during these tragic times. brother bates. [applause]
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>> i was waiting for that. [applause] thank you. to all the distinguished guests in attendance today, thank you for joining us. hoping before you today to do justice to 20 heroes, an organization that continues to display heroism in the face of tragedy. members ofof the 19 the granite mountain hotshots who gave the ultimate sacrifice on june 30, 2013. mcdonough -- -- ough, who isnagh
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carried on the strength of his fallen brothers. [applause] i am also speaking of the fire department faced with an unimaginable loss our organization has come together with love, compassion, and resilience to mourn, honor, and carry on our mission of serving
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on and helping others in their greatest time of the need -- of need. nine days, that is all it has been. in that time we have grieved and cried together, shared emotions, and asked over and over one pointed question. why? personally, i have struggled with that question for days. each time, i have returned to 11.miah 29, verse i know the plans i have for you declares the lord. plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. lance to give you hope and a future. -- plans to give you hope and a future. as part of the days have been,
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as deep as the loss reaches, i believe there is strength in that message. i believe these men were, and are part of the divine plan. it is a thought that maybe difficult if not impossible to comprehend. i have faith that god laced these men see her for a reason -- placed these men here for a reason. to protect the community they love, and to serve the folks who call this area home. hand -- placing a guarded hand, and protect us they did. not just on june 30, but or many years, and in many ways. the hotshots spent more than 500 days in the field battling wildfires.
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they were responsible for improving dispensable stage to more than 80 homes, and treating more than 6000 acres of public lands. they did public education. the author community disaster lands. they helped train other firefighters to do what they did. -- fromsafe from virus fires. they did snow removal in storms. they assisted with medical emergencies. they performed technical rescues pretty anything needed. these hotshots stepped up and fill the void. they did not blink at danger. their courage never wavered. in 2002, were done by the phils helped stop the
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indian fire from what could've been a disaster. weeks ago, they stood in the path of another fire on granite -- mountain. their efforts that day changed -- saves property and lives, and spared many from pain. of ephesians.you by grace, you have been saved. not yourself, it is the gift of god, not board's, lest anyone should boast. our saints were not boastful men. hotshots never are.
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they work deep in the woods to remove -- remove from the public eye and headlines. the hotshots came from all walks of life, from different paths, and if it believes. -- beliefs. as one unit, they loved, honored, and survey purpose and a plan much greater than any of us. they shared a creed. to be, rather than to seem to be. these men took action. they were authentic in their purpose. unyielding in their commitment. each was a man of this community. a leader. many were men of deep faiths. stories of the crew reveal man who loved one another, laughs
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together, then toured, -- mentored each other. in june of this year, ministered by men of granite mountain, on the thompson ridge fire in new excepted thean love of the lord, our savior. [applause] june 30, 2013. the granite mountain hotshots to fill their purpose as god had planned for them. saints protecting a community many call home. home exactly how
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they wanted to go home. as brothers, fighting fires, placing themselves between life and death. quietly and humbly serving. one of the firefighters was quoted saying, "i would rather die in my boots than a suit. " one of the firefighters was texting his mother. the mother was concerned over the long month seven spent fighting fires in the 100 plus degrees. she wanted them to rest. the son replied, "mom, the fire is getting big. there is a ranch down there. we need to protect it. we will rest later. "
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it was the last words she heard from him. psalm tells us, precious is the .ite of the lord, may happened on june 30 hurt like nothing we have ever heard in our lives -- never experience in our lives. it was precious, and it was honorable. these 19 men were together as brothers. they were doing what they loved. i know they had angels guiding them home. , as hot a burned, may have consumed their bodies, but they are not -- but not our loved ones souls.
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isaiah tells us as much. and when heth you, passed through the rivers they will not sweep over you. when you walk to the fire, you will not be burned in the flames will not set to blaze. , it passed over 19 men we were privileged to serve. were calledghters to their eternal homes. i can only imagine the welcome. all the loved ones who surrounded them. all the firefighters who met them in their moment of glory. that glory will not end when we moved -- when we leave this mortal service.
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it will not end, though we go back to work. one day, our pain begins to dissolve. life will have a way of going on. friends, my fellow firefighters, you been in my heart every second. i have no doubt that you were spared for a purpose. have faith, and do not lose hope . i believe god has a plan for you. i also have no doubt that you will carry on the tradition and honor of our fallen brothers. one of the hotshots had a way with words. wade wrote a poem
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that i believe was god is speaking through him, knowing this day would come. brendan, i felt compelled to share these words with you. the message is a powerful one. i give my life to you, forever i will serve you. you will be my strong tower and refuge. i will seek your face, forever i will speak your words. to the end of my days, i will speak your name into the world, so i lay my life down to the everlasting keen. -- king. protect me lord, and teach me your ways. fallen,amilies of the you have been in our hearts, and millions of hearts nationwide in the last nine days.
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you are not alone, you will never be alone. our fallen brothers have left us with the gift of their family, and you will always be a part of our family. i claim no knowledge of what tomorrow holds, no insight into the plans of the future. i do know that god has a plan. i do know that the fire department will carry-on. [applause] i do know that each and every man and woman who wears our uniform will continue to serve in a way that honors the sacrifice of the granite mountain hotshots, the saints of
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prescott. [applause] they may be gone, but they will never truly leave us. with the same fears commitment, the fire department and our fire family pledges to all the families of our fallen. brothers, sisters, we will always be here for you, every hour, every day. thank you, and god bless. [applause] >> representing the international association of firefighters is our general
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president from washington dc. it represents the professional firefighters in every state, and province throughout the united states and canada. at the end of his tribute, he will attract -- direct the honor guard to present the families with the -- medal bears the words dedication, honor, sacrifice. dal has been honored for those killed in the line of duty since it was established in 1990. my friend, my president, harold .hea berger -- shea
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,> governor brewer, mayor chief. , members ofain congress, members of the president's cabinet, mr. vice president. someone who has had the backs of all of our members, firefighters throughout this country for so not years, having our backs just with words, but with greater deeds.
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19 prescott firefighters, 19 brothers in arms. bound together by the essence of the words honor, commitment, urage, her ridge -- cor and sacrifice. highly trained to endure capacities -- beyond the capabilities of most of us. their job was to respond in areas where the forest boar and -- a burned while. a unique band of men. they work for the city of prescott. because of their skills of the hotshots crew. they spent most of their time deployed, responding
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all across the country to those raging wired files -- wildfires. 19 incredible husband's. be, sons,d fathers to brothers, friends. several were second-generation firefighters. many found their way will we refer to as the job through different journeys. , where in the same place your crew becomes your second family. most of the time, they worked up in the hills among the trees, on steep mountainsides and along cliffs. where the general public usually s, watchingiren firefighters step up to take on the flames and save lives on a
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home or high-rise in a neighborhood, or a store is engulfed, or a warehouse explodes, hotshots operate differently. most of the time, this incredible group, and this incredible crew was invisible to the people they served, unseen. so critically important. when lighting struck and ignited the dense, dry hills, where the sweltering heat wave already promised treacherous conditions, they geared up and moved out, knowing exactly what they were facing. once on the ground in that terrain, they went to work, cutting lines, digging, scraping, carrying, firing --
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fighting the fire with the wind at their backs, do what they were trained to do. then they experience a win blowout, gale force, 180 degree turn in a matter of minutes. now the flames confronted them head-on. with severe gusts, the heels got hotter and hotter. coming. over was these comrades did what they were trained to do. ,hey use the equipment they had and as every crew does in every department represented here today, they instinctively had each other's back. while that commendation of skills and commitment to each a number gotten out of of tight situations before, two
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sundays ago, it was not enough for 19 of our best. most people do not fully comprehend, they cannot comprehend the culture and the bond of our profession. will be live together, work together, eat our meals together. we watch our families grow. we put our lives on the line in each other's hands. the hotshot crew, they spent days, weeks at a time diploid in the wilderness together. the only thing they had for certain was each other, their second family. in this profession of hours, the fact is we have two families. we have our wonderful, loving, immediate families at home. then we have our firefighting
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family on the job. family.e are all one the loved ones of the 19. just look around this arena. ,he thousands that are outside who've come to honor the best of the best. everyone bound together by these unbelievable men. these tenacious firefighters, who simply were doing their jobs. they're like ripples in a pebble in a pond. all in their uniforms, extending a beyond themselves, to an incredible number into one great family. a family that is coming together to mourn, to remember, and to pray for those we lost. together, to celebrate their lives, to honor their service and sacrifice.
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einstein once said that a life lived for others is a life worth while. the men we lost in those hills lived in -- and served for others. for all of us. they chose saving lives and protecting the citizens and country they loved as their profession. each full of life, 14 of them in their 20's. all too young. some served in the armed forces. some headed straight for this profession,, but all were adventurous. they treat every day like it was special. each one had so much more left to do here on earth. they all will be missed. service, wee fire experience loss in the line of
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duty. some 100 times a year. then there are the terrible times when may lose multiple .embers, and a single incident this year alone, in the last six months, we have honored those who have fallen in multiple texas, andianapolis, houston just one month ago. have wee september 11 suffered a blow is massive as june 30, 2013. a day we will never forget. to the immediate families and friends of our fallen, and to those in uniform standing at attention. today, and who have served with them, and especially brendan, to
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you, we are so thankful to see you here with us today. thankfully, we are simply here to honor, and to extend our profound respect to all of you. we offer our internal gratitude and prayers. you will always be a part of our extended firefighter family, you, the loved ones of those we lost. we will stand by you not just today, not just tomorrow, but for the months and years to come . we say thank you for sharing your loved ones with us. we will miss them greatly. travis,w, robert, dunstan, christopher, eric, grants, sean, scott, wade, john,
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travis, jesse, joe, william clayton, kevin, and garrett. you answered the final alarm. you serve your nation well. thank you for the gift of your lives. may you rest in peace. remember that those names of our faults -- fellows would be etched in the walls in colorado springs, where generations of firefighters will come to honor their service, and to always remember. on behalf of our entire executive board, and the 300,000 men and women of the international association of firefighters, i will now ask the honor guard to present the gold medal of honor to our families.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, we will not present the names of the fallen crew. in order to assist us, we ask only one of resident it from each family to stand when your loved one's name is called, they remain standing until until the present reaches your seats. wish, to the family that should receive the medal of eric -- honor. eric shane morris.
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jesse james steed. waitehitted. robert caldwell. travis clay carter. mackenzie. allen turbyfill. joe thurston. wade scott parker.
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anthony michael rose. garrett zuppiger. scott daniel morris. deford. warneky kevin woyjeck. mckie. mizner.hael
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[no audio]
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>> the surviving member of the hotshots is brendan mcdonough. every firefighter feels blessed that he is with us here today. it is my honor to introduce my brother firefighter, brendan mcdonough. [applause]
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>> my brothers, my sisters, my family. i would like to share with you. duty to fight the roaring blaze. lee's keep me safe and strong, i
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may be here for days. crewmembers asow we hiked the the top. help us cut enough line for the blaze to stop. -- skillslls enhance and hands be firm and quit. line, i stand the should answer doubts call. bless my hotshot crew, my family one and all. thank you, and i miss my brothers. we are here today to remember them. i love my family, all of you that are out there. thank you for supporting me. [applause]
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[no audio]
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[taps] >> on real-world personnel, please rise. personnel,ormed please rise.
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>> submit women are confronted with a more dangerous government than ever before. we are forced to continually change our strategies and tactics to accomplish our mission. our methods may change but our goals remain the same as they were in the past. to save lives and protect property. sometimes a terrible cost. this is what we do. this is our chosen profession. this is the tradition of the firefighter. the fire service of today is ever-changing, but is also steeped in tradition that are over 200 years old. one such tradition as the sounding of the bell. began their tour
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of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of that shift. throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a belt. these brave souls to fight fires and place their lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizens. and when the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signal the completion of that call. when a firefighter died in the line of duty paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the more full announcede bell that a comrade's passing. we these traditions as symbols which reflect honor and respect andthose with given so much to served so well.
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to symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their duty a special signal of three rings, three times each represents the and of our comrades or duty and that it will be returning. to those who have given their lives for the good of their completed, their task , their duties are well done. to our prescott brothers, their last alarm, they are going home. [bell tolling]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to them monitor to see a flyover. is providing the flyover and recognition of the role that air support plays with
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the wildland firefighters and a recognition of the contribution toward the country's defense by marine corps veterans who made up a portion of our granite mountain hotshot crew. please view the monitors.
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>> please be seated. ♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me i once was lost, but now i'm
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found ♪as blind, but now i see
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♪ ♪
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>> may the lord guide you. >> please be seated as we honor the firefighters and their families. miss --r guard will do will dismiss this all uniformed officers. please follow the commands of our under guard. please remain in your seats until dismissed by the honor guard. under guard, dismissal. ♪
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>> please rise. [applause] underguard, escorts.
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>> all remaining uniformed personnel, please rise. you are dismissed. ready?
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living, a time for going home. ♪
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♪ >> the 19 firefighters who lost their lives in a wildfire last month. earlier this week, arizona
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senators john mccain and flake spoke on the senate floor about the men who lost their lives. here is what they had to say. >> i rise today with a heavy heart to remember 12 grieving families -- i am sorry, 19 grieving families in the prescott community that will never be filled. arizona and the entire nation shares and their sorrow. the loss of the members of the granite mountain hotshots in the loss of community is both terrible and swept. we are right to ask the why must mark why were they taken from us? why were these fearless man of all that is brave and decent choose a job that causes them to run into an inferno just as
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everybody else is running away from it? , we get ang that instance of who these men are. these 19 lives of achievement and purpose, courage, and discipline. from all corners of america, they came together in prescott with a single goal in mind -- protecting people and property. to do this, they trained relentlessly and took the worst that mother nature can throw at them. all to save lives and homes for their friends and their neighbors. they did so accepting the risks and embracing them even and in the words of the old hymn, home and distressed in danger. they did so in the name of community. byricans are characterized our sense of communal spirit, civic duty, and service to others. this is what makes us who we are.
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and those characteristics described perfectly the 19 members of the granite mountain hotshots. they were not really given the gratitude and respect of the sins of prescott, they earned it. -- respect and admiration in prescott, they earned it. we must help the families that carry it will reload. brief is lonely. those who are grieving for a husband or a son note that millions of us are thinking of you and praying for your heart that they find solace and comfort. to the children of these men, carry deep inside of you the knowledge that they were as proud of you as you are of them. this band of 19 embodied the best that we have about our country. i am honored they were in the end arizonans. we should all be proud to live in a community and a state and the nation built on the kind of
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guts and selflessness that these men personify. today, we are all in the words, townsmen of the town. may god bless the souls of the 19 brave men. senator mccain and i had the privilege to travel with the vice president and to cap best secretaries and other members of congress to a memorial service of these brave 19. it was an incredible experience to see a community come together as it did. the townspeople, people from across the state and the country , and people across the world sitting their condolences for the actions of these men -- sending their condolences for the actions of these men. we are so lucky to live in a country like this. senator mccain and i are so fortunate to be arizonans.
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we are fortunate to witness what we have witnessed. mr. president, i am pleased to help bring this resolution to earn it these men to the floor -- to under these men to the floor and i yield the floor. >> the senator from arizona. >> i want to thank the senator from delaware for his kind words for me and my friend and colleague from arizona who i believe is carrying on the fine tradition of his predecessor, senator kyle in the spirit of bipartisanship and dedication to the people of arizona. i come to the floor today with my colleague from arizona to offer a resolution honoring the fallen heroes of the granite mountain interagency hotshot crew. yesterday, senator flake and i were privileged to attend a
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memorial ceremony in prescott honoring the service and sacrifice of the 19 brave men of the granite mountain hotshots who lost their lives last week hill firehe yarnell in arizona. i know i speak for all of my expressingzens in our gratitude to the vice president of the united states who came all the way to arizona and he gave a moving storing and wonderful testimony to these brave arizonans. friend foral of my so many years, the vice president of the united states, he and his wonderful wife would come to arizona to join us in our efforts to honor these brave men. merely wortht men knowing. they were managed to admire. they were meant to emulate if you have the courage and character to live as decently
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and honorably as they left. not many of us can. but we can become better people by trying to be half as brave and good as they were and to make our lives count for something more than the sum of our days. the news accounts of their lives and the testimonials to their virtues that appeared in the days since we have lost them give the rest of us a glimpse of what a blessed memory they are to those who knew and loved them. some of them were the sons of firefighters who grow up wanting to be like dad. some believe behind wives and children. some were expecting the birth of their first child. some married her high school sweetheart. some were engaged. and looking forward to becoming husbands and fathers. some were cousins and best
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friend. one rescued horses. one aspired to preach the word of god. one was a standout ballplayer. one dressed in a yellow raincoat when he was six and pretended to put out fires. some were born in arizona. some came from other places and fell in love with the beauty and people of arizona. some were shy. others were practical jokers. there were all respected and admired. the kind of men who just like being around. they all love the outdoors. they were at lead and adventurous. they loved their jobs. -- they were athletic and adventurous. they wanted to make a difference. they all had a purpose. > self's. -- > sales. they were all young. themselves.han
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there were all loved. they will be missed. so terribly this. i will forever be touched i wanted their enemies and friends have told me about them and how much they meant to them -- i will forever be touched by what fami emily and friends -- ly and friends have told me about them and how much they meant to them. i will always consider myself did advantage for not having
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faith and to endure, i hope i can get some solace the ones we honor today is immortal. it does not perish with them. how they lived and what they did will inspire others to live courageously and selflessly. these brave men are the hotshots and we see grand examples sublime and shining and unforgettable examples that will summon good men and women today and tomorrow after our time has passed to live bravely and compassionately and honorably. and terrifying encounter with danger, they stood their ground. like the heroes they were. and they fought for their community. while the game not come home to the people who love them so much and will miss them always, i firmly believe we will see them again in the better world that is to come.
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until then, we finally remember the humanity of these brave men. nature,down to earth all of their marvelous imperfections known only to the closest family and friends. and how in the ace of dire peril, they rose beyond all of that makes us really ordinary at lead god cradled them in his cradled themet god in his arms and carried them away. lost men of the granite mountain hotshots died having taught us as we live and for that, honor them and pay our respects to their loved ones today, i should submit. we should all find great solace. , i ask fornt unanimous consent for the consideration submitted earlier
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today. honoring resolution the hotshot crew. >> is there objection? without objection among the senate will proceed. unanimous consent for be laid upon the table with no intervening action. >> without objection. >> i yield the floor. wanted a purpose and looked at american life. . i need a politics, this is, entertainment -- i needed politics, business, entertainment. i was interested in the pattern with newt gingrich, opera, jay- z.
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people who begin in very humble places area and are not unlike the main characters. who sort of reinvent themselves at something new and find a new language and new idea that is riveting to americans. through that they built an empire. they cannot stop building get. it is almost like an imperative. you have to keep growing. even as a person and a brand, you have to keep growing. eventually, a sort of decadence where the language becomes the parody of itself. they known for seem to be producing something good. produce. continue to gingrich writes book after book. oprah is on the cover of every issue of her magazine. they become the celebrity we are familiar with who dominates our imagination in a way that comes to replace the institution that
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have faltered. >> george packer intertwines the struggles of three americans. that's sunday at 8:00. have been invited to a meeting on monday at 6 p.m. in the old senate chamber. they'll discuss changes to senate rules for filibusters. the same issue came up in 2005 when republicans were in the majority. senator mitch mcconnell spoke of the issue supporting changes. >> i note that the rule did not pertain to a president nomination. nor did any senator during the debate on the adoption of the 1970 closure rule discuss the possible application, the nominations. this was not because senators wanted to preserve the right to filibuster nominees. notion ofbecause the
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filibuster nominations was alien to them. it had never occurred to anybody that it would be done. in 2008, senate majority leader harry reid argued against using the nuclear option. here is a look. >> the nuclear option, you just missed it -- mentioned in chapter seven of your book. describe circumstances. just so our views can better understand, was a nuclear option? what the likelihood is there will have to face nuclear option? the republicans came up with was a way to change our country forever. they made a decision that if they did not get every judge will go to theat city like the house of representatives.
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where a simple majority would determine what ever happens. whatever they wanted, they get down. to benate wasn't up different. that was the genius, the vision of our founding fathers. this legislature that we need have two different duties. one to pour the coffee. thethat is why you have ability to filibuster. they wanted to get rid of all of that. any likelihood it will face circumstances like that again? >> as long as i am the leader, the answer is no. we should just forget that. that is a black chapter in the history of the senate. i hope we never, ever get to that again. i believe it will ruin our country. i've said during that debate, to
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all my years in government, that was the most important thing i ever worked on. these were pass statements from mitch mcconnell and harry reid on the issue of senate rule changes. on monday, we would hear the current thoughts. before he takes part in a meeting with senators later in the day regarding the very same issue. ve at 10:30arks li a.m. eastern on c-span. more on the proposed changes to senate rules. host: we want to welcome sarah binder at the nuclear option.
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before we begin our discussion, the exchange between the senate republican leader and harry reid. >> these aredark days in the history of the senate. we have witnessed the majority leader break his word in the united states senate. our request of a joint meeting has been set for monday night at a time when attendance is frequently quite spotty. in an obvious effort to keep many of his members for hearing the concerns and arguments from the other side as possible. it remains our view that for this debate, the kind of joint session that it ought to be, given the tendency of this daft to have sparse attendance on monday night, to have this meeting on tuesday before it is too late.
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>> mr. president, i do not want him to feel sorry for the senate. i am going to try to continue to speak in a tone that is appropriate. i guess he follows the theory that the more you say something the more people believe it. mr. president, -- it is quite interesting that he thinks there is nothing wrong with this man. democrats and republicans have said he is a good guy. this man has been waiting 724 days. assistant secretary of defense, 292 days. monetary fund governor, 192 days.
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epa, 192 days. average time waiting is nine months. host: sarah binder of the brookings institution, what is going on here? guest: the two parties in the form of senator reed and majority leader -- of senator reed and mitch mcconnell, they are going head-to-head over filibuster and a narrow application of the filibuster. should the minority block executive branch nominees? the majority is saying the minority has gone a step too far. we should not need 60 votes to confirm nominees. the minority is saying they have not blocked any nominees, they are using advice defensively. that has boiled up into this issue as to whether the democrats want to change the rules to prevent filibusters of
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the executive branch nominees. host: we heard some dramatic words from senator mitch mcconnell that it was changing the institution, 200 years of congress going out the door, this is a legacy that harry reid have on his tombstone. guest: sometimes it is hard to know what is staged drama for the floor and audience and how much is really intense disagreement between these two senate leaders. keep in mind that the filibuster was not original to the senate. there was no filibuster of george washington's nominees or most of the 19th century. we do not have filibusters of cabinet level nominees until very recently. it is hard to know whether we totally ruled -- totally ruined the senate by doing away with filibusters area -- with filibusters. host: it will take place on guest: guest: monday, how unusual is that? it is unusual for both parties to meet behind closed doors.
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they did in the run-up to the impeachment child -- impeachment trial for president clinton. host: what do you think the atmosphere will be like? we heard it is a tough time for lawmakers to be here but it is 6:00 in the evening and the session is earlier in the day. guest: republicans have been reaching out to friends on their side to try to diffuse the situation. my hunch is it will be pretty tense but time 6 p.m. rolls around on monday. -- by the time 6 p.m. rolls around on monday. the minority seems intent on not giving up. host: if the democrats agreed to this, and we are going to hear from some democrats a few years ago, what impact will it have if they are on the minority in 2017
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or 2019? guest: the minority party, if you change the rules by majority vote we will go nuclear. we will low every procedural rich insight in the senate. that is what they threatened. these objected yesterday. the senate needs consent in the afternoon when committees are on the floor. it is considerable that the minority could make the majority quite difficult. it is also conceivable that if democrats do this republicans will come back in office and take away the filibuster on other elements of senate procedure. being the minority, it might give the democrats some pods as to what is left as their rights as a minority. -- some pause as to what is left as their rights as a minority.
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host: you can send us an e-mail or send us a tweet. some other voices on this, including senator barack obama on the senate floor in 2005. [video clip] >> one day democrats will be in the majority again. mr. president, licensed the talk is more about power than fairness -- i sense the talk is more about power than fairness . they can get away with it. the right -- if the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party i fear the party atmosphere in washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be
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able to agree on anything. that does not serve anyone's best interest at it is not what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind. host: that old line, "where you stand depends on where you sit." three years later barack obama is in the white house and dealing with some of the same issues that has frustrated previous guest: guest: presidents, including george w. bush. where you stand depends on where you sit applies to all senators. when you are in the minority you are going to fight to keep all the rights you have. when you're in the majority, it is quite frustrating to live in a world where minorities can exploit any number of rules to slow down the clock. host: let us look at this graph about approving federal judges, some executive employments. a
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comparison on the issue of federal judges between president obama, which has had 92 % confirmed and president bush that has had 97 % confirmed. that does not seem out of the realm. guest: judging from any of these numbers, they can be sliced and diced in a number of different ways. if we look at conch permission rates -- that confirmation rates by congress, they have plummeted since the 80s. recent congresses have dipped down into the 60s and it has been a little precarious. the perception that it is harder to get nominees from the bench at both levels, it is quite true. host: the filibuster has a
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ridiculously romantic aura about it. guest: the many people that believe and agree with that, we saw senator rand paul earlier this year, -- we do not see these kind of filibusters in part because the minority does not want to spend the time on the floor and the majority does not want to spend time on the floor like that. typically the threat to filibuster is enough to derail the measure or motion. >>this is from the senate republican leader bill frist, the republican leader and what he had to say a decade ago on the filibuster. [video clip ] [video clip ] >> senator reid, the democratic leader and i, have negotiated
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and taught everything to come to a negotiating position that does what is right. it gives every nominee an up or down vote. senator reid and i -- you see us talk in every day. that relationship will continue in a constructive and positive way. we were unable to reach an agreement consistent with the principle of our down votes for all nominees. you do not arbitrarily exclude certain nominees in order to avoid the constitutional option. host: your response. guest: when you are in the majority and you are the leader, the efforts by the minority to slow down and filibuster nominees is frustrating. many people believe the president should have the
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capacity to put the team on the bench. the majority -- the minority does not want to give that leeway. you see senator reid equally frustrated over the tactics. host: this tweet from a viewer. democracy is mob rule. this is from our facebook page. the government is broken because the gop is splitting down the middle between normal republicans and the far right. be careful what you wish for. guest: there are divisions in the republican party making it difficult for the legislative process. that has the lock step republican opposition. this is not a renegade group of republicans. this is the republican party position about these agencies.
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host: again, sarah binder from the brookings institution. caller: i just wanted to call and give a comment on your previous question about congress. i just wanted to say i didn't necessarily think it is congress that is broken. it is the side groups that are not mentioned a lot in the media, such as the trilateral commission, the federal reserve, and all of these groups of manipulating the currency and using false flag terror attacks to get us into these wars all over the world trying to move society into a global order. the founder of the bavarian high luminosity in 1776 -- bavarian illuminati in 1776 -- host: on
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our website, a lot of people focusing on these outside groups. the impact of foreign money. guest: here is a lot of money that fuels the campaign. there is an inordinate amount of time spent by senators in their election year raising money. there are differences of opinion on whether the money makes a difference. the time warp on the chase for the dollar certainly makes a difference. caller: i hope you make the
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distinction when you play the comparison of the democrats in 2005 but this is specifically tailored to the president's nominees, not the entire filibuster. i think the filibuster should be lowered to 55 because the days of the huge majority are gone. they tend to go to been far. remember in 1995 when republicans took control of the house and they railed against the earmarks. there were 16,000 earmarks. when the republicans took over, it jumped to 36,000. same thing with the filibuster. lyndon johnson, as the leader, had 1. the republicans want to draw out the game and get nothing done until the end of the term. there is an old at age that when
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democrats take power, though there is there is an old addage that when democrats take power, they seek more power. the old folks are not the problem. it is the young republicans who are intent on be constructing the government, making it not work from inside -- deconstructing the government, making it not work from the inside. if the people in the red states suffer the consequences to cut services, they do not suffer because the democrats protect the poor and working-class, democrats and republicans. he railed against what benefits to them and do not suffer the consequences when these things
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are chopped up. host: i will leave it there. thanks for your comments. guest: you are correct about this parliament carry arms race: on in the senate for 15 or 20 -- arms race going on in the senate for 15 or 20 years. we see the filibuster spread from the desire to measures to judicial nominees to executive branch nominees. it is tough to a clampdown on. if you do not, it is tough to get the -- it is tough to clamp down on. if you do not, it is tough to get the senate to work. host: let me show you this article. a day of friction notable for even a fraction congress. the chaos reflects the reality that congress has been reduced from a law making entity to a political operation in which
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positions are taken and fermented largely in the name of maintaining party unity rather than attracting votes from the other side. the minority is powerless to do anything but protests. senate republicans have the power to filibuster, which is why they are so adamantly opposed to the democrats' gambit. guest: here is a lot of truth to what we call message politics. taking a vote to drive a message to each policy states. the less inclination there is to meet and legislate. the senate worked its way through immigration reform with over 60 votes. there was a farm build this year. i do not think we should over estimate the extent of this
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message politics. it is there. it has not entirely precluded legislative progress. host: this point from gary. if the nuclear option in the senate goes through, it'll be the first step to another shooting civil war in this country. this from facebook. 10 foot mice taking constant opinion polls within their district to see which way the wind is blowing about their base so they won't accidentally alta against it. guest: one person's finger in the wind is another person's hyper-responsiveness. how much do we want them tied to their constituencies? there is no right answer to that. that is what people disagree about these numbers and the
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stance they are willing to take. host: we will go to roger on the in thing good morning. caller: our founding fathers came up with a solution in the constitution. it provided an option for an upward mobility within politics. why haven't they utilize that since 1958 in high -- hawaii? we have problems with voting and voter apathy. host: ok. we will get a response. thanks, roger. guest: we do have a first to create new congressional districts in more representatives for the district of columbia. that has proven quite contentious. the parties disagree.
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they do not want the other party to benefit. if they cannot add a seats, they cannot at a state. host: sarah binder is a graduate of yale university and earned her doctorate from the university of minnesota. she worked in the house in the 1980's. she has altered or co-authored a number of books. she is also a former professor at george washington university. we are here to take your calls as we looked at the senate filibuster rule. there will be a meeting on monday. closed to cameras. we wish we could be inside. guest: i am not remember why the old senate chamber has such historical links to it. there was the caning of a senator from massachusetts.
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the history of the place is a little bit tainted from the past. host: a familiar figure on capitol hill, senator chuck schumer of new york had this to say. [video clip ] >> we are on the precipice of a constitutional crisis. the checks and balances that have been at the core of this republic are about be evaporated by the nuclear option. the checks and balances which say that if you get 51% of the vote, you do not get your way 100% of the time. it is almost a temper tantrum by those on the hard right. they won their way every single time. it will change the rules, the rate the rules, miss read the constitution -- misread the
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constitution so they will get their way. that is not becoming of the leadership on the republican side of the aisle. that is what we call abuse of power. host: sarah binder, from may 2005 from chuck schumer. is this a constitutional issue or are these simply senate rules? guest: it is a look at part of the israelites in the senate. the-parliamentary life in the senate. -- parliamentary life in the senate. the senate cannot put too many restrictions on how it changes its rules. if you look in the senate rule, you'll book requires a two-
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thirds said -- 2/3 voting -- the rule book requires two-thirds. the constitution let us run our own rules. it has never been tested like this before. it has not been used to change the threshold of rule 22. that is what is making it so explosive. host: we are focusing on the filibuster rule. bob is on the phone from jacksonville, florida. good morning. calm good morning. -- good morning. caller: good morning. yesterday, they threw together
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the heritage foundation, this larger group of people, and got a parliamentarian from the johnson administration. they had this big mass audience and c-span went live to it and think that showed it three times since then. i have xm radio in my bedroom. they had it on all night long. a head to hit up and turned the tv on to see who these crazy folks were. they are insane about this. i was one of the people who were pushing harry reid to go january of this year. we spoke to liberal folks and
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all we are going to get that. and we did. the agreement he had was that he would do the nuclear option but the republicans would filibuster. they have filibustered everything since then. what can he do? there is nothing left for him to do. the heritage foundation left out everything but the republican talking points. if you want to listen to that and c-span wanted you to -- i hope c-span charges heritage. they would go on the street at 12:00 and c-span will show up with cameras. host: we will get a response. sarah binder. guest: , picked up on what we saw on the floor last week -- the caller picks up on what we saw on the floor last week.
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senator reid has been frustrated that the changes did not go up. they believe the minority has not kept its side of the bargain, which would be to suspend filibusters in occasions with these are not extraordinary circumstances. that are driving it to the brink to say he is going to go through with a compromise. he feels he has been burned in a compromise. in it will actually go through. host: let me show you a comment from our facebook page. there were 4 million people in the u.s. one of our constitution was written. there are 315 million. times have changed. in our constitution should be updated with the times.
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maybe congress will work better under of data rules. guest: it is a good point about the difficulty of running a modern senate with old rules. reid and frist before him are not the first to complain about the senate where a minority factions rule the day. this is an old problem. it lends support to the forces the say perhaps it is time to fine-tune some of these rules. host: best about the process of what will happen on monday. they will gavel about 530, take it will call voted and recessed to -- at about 5:30 p.m., take a
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roll call and recess. guest: one thing to keep in mind if you have a notion to change the rules, it is supposed to stay on the calendar overnight. i would keep my eye on whether or not the majority put it on the calendar to change the rules. if they want to rely on what tactics their corn to take, there is no set nuclear option. he cannot -- and what tactics they are going to take. the majority reenter precise rules. it is kind of a mix.
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we need a precise set of steps that might be taken. host: how significant is this debate for the senate as an institution? guest: my guess is it does not actually happen in the caucus, but it happens this weekend in conversation or after the caucus. i cannot imagine the senate replicating the type of debate we saw on the floor in augusta. the question is, once the cameras go away, is there any more meeting of the month. is there a procedural path that will give the two size with a 1? i am not so sure. host: senator reid and senator mcconnell will be appearing
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tomorrow morning on meet the press. you can listen to that nbc program beginning at noon eastern on c-span radio at 9:00 a.m. drew is joining us from sebastian, florida on the republican line. caller: good morning. numerous comments have been made. so many things have changed since the 17th amendment. k street and involvement of the lobbyists and the possibility. the senate was supposed to be a popular vote. it represents the states and the government. why do we have the problem with the courts? because you haven't popular representative and not a state rep. there were so many things never
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change in the early 20th century that affect us now that have done even been mentioned. host: thanks for the call. we will get a response. guest: the caller is right. we had constitutional amendments to change the makeup of the senate. the days of stay selection of their senators were not as rosy as we think. different factions would buy off their members to send them to the senate. is there another way we might think the moves to elected senators i have been an improvement, even if we still see money in the system? host: michael is joining us from akron, ohio. good morning. caller: i have two comments concerning the fact that people claim obama never had a honeymoon after he took office.
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those people who make that claim are absolutely right. there are two reasons he never had a honeymoon after he took office. those are george w. bush and oprah winfrey. when george w. bush was elected, it took six weeks to really claim a victory in that election. oh, knew the nine of his election that he had won. i recall rush limbaugh and other consultants on the radio beam data that a bomb went around the country with a big -- on the radio work mad that obama went around the country with a big placard saying president of the united states. host: we will get a response. sarah binder? guest: present a bomb had a pretty hard time despite having a democratic house and the
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democratic sen. he did not give any cooperation from the minority party. they claim they were excluded. democrats claimed they did not want to play ball. the president got quite a been done in his first two years. -- quite a bit gun in his first two years. that came to a halt with the republicans gaining the house in 2010. host: let's look at the republicans at the center of this debate led by harry reid. the labor secretary nominee, the epa administrator, the head of the export-import bank. there are a number nominee -- a number of nominees to serve on the national labor relations board. where is this coming from?
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guest: here is a lot of organized pressure coming from groups on the left including strong constituencies from national labor relations board. we have seen these pressures before. when have seen labor unions. they understand that for their agenda, they'll understand the importance of a functioning cent. i do not think senators will do things they would not otherwise do even if there is pressure from the left of the right on them. it is keeping the pressure on senator reid not to give in on these particular executive branch nominees. otherwise, these agencies will not reach the light of day.
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host: one of your rights that the senate should focus on legislating and that become part of the problem. guest: inside the beltway, it is hard to know what is perceived outside the beltway. there is a lot of attention on counting up all of these nominations and trying to weigh these claims. the data can be used in all sorts of ways. tough job for journalists to make sense of competing claims. host: making sense of this debate is orrin hatch from utah. [video clip ] >> as you can see, this is a mess. it is not a good mess. we protect the rights of the minority. it was just a few years ago that
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the majority leader was arguing for those rights himself, saying the senate would be destroyed if we went to a nuclear option, which nobody did. it has never been done before and should not be done now. the fact of the matter is they are playing parliamentary tricks with regard to this. they are doing it to the detriment of the united states senate. host: the comments of senator orrin hatch. even in a congress where bipartisanship and comedy are the exception to the regular order, the near employers and on capitol hill was notable and both chambers erupted in the end fewer -- furor that lasted the rest of the day. guest: the farm bill. ripping up a 50 year agreements in order to get it passed with conservative republicans.
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we had senator reid and senator mcconnell going at it all day. it is rare to see that much attention paid in that much passion on the floor of the house and the senate. both majorities and minorities are upset over the prospects of what was happening in their own chambers. host: we have a few seconds left with sarah binder from the brookings institution. caller: i would like to make a couple of points. usually, when the president nominate someone, they give him deference and he gets the people he wants for his cabinet. the that the number as compared to president obama and present bush and other republicans. they are filibustering obama's nominees for next to nothing. i hope harry reid goes nuclear and gets rid of the filibuster. how can anyone negotiate with
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these is the tea party people like ted crews and these other ones and rand paul? they refuse ted cruz and rand paul and the other ones. they refuse to compromise. host: this is george joining us from georgia on the republican line. go ahead, please. caller: every time the republicans oppose a bill or something like that, harry reid closes it down. does c-span.org anybody have a record? has anything gotten on the floor that the republicans have proposed or is it always harry reid's way or the highway?
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on the second point, the caller is tapping a concern that is raised by republicans. if you look at the number of cloture votes, it has gone up exponentially even in the last four years. democrats claim that is because republicans filibuster everything. the republicans claimed the democrats are trigger happy. we disagree about what is the program about of debate and what of section there is and what is cheering all of these cloture motions. the democratic norm is the majority set agendas. if it were the case that only democrats got bills on the floor, that would not be egregious. he and my that they got
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immigration reform. the democrats needed a 60 votes and the only have 54 or 55 within their own branch. there always have -- always has to be compromise. the two parties disagree. the republicans say, we have not had any successful filibusters. all of the nominees got into their offices. the democrats say, you try to filibuster them. the question is, should the president be able to put a cabin in office without questioning the minority. it would be the republican majority if they were the majority. host: how long do you think the meeting will take place on monday and what you think the
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outcome will be? guest: it depends on what happens beforehand. my hunch is that it goes an hour or two, but senators do not want to spend an hour. why stay there for an hour and half the there is no conclusion. that is the debate. the son of trauma spilled over since tuesday. the-some -- some sort of trauma spilled over tuesday. host: stuart reid will join us >> illicit omens concerning the health care law, including the delay of the individual mandates. the center for american progress continue the conversation on the health care law.
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then, the former ambassador to morocco discusses recent events in egypt. all that plus your calls beginning live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. up, the president and first lady award recipients of the 2012 national medal of arts .umanities in the memorial service for the firefighters who lost their lives last week. >> him in touch upon the idea that women could not really predict their role in entering the white house. i did find one political observer who commented that
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starting with mr. lincoln, with no more idea of being called to the presidency then of being accountable. however, i try and lay out my guess.d educated she did talk about mr. lincoln of entering the white house pray she was someone who was a true political partner. >> we continue our conversation on first ladies. the role of the first lady and how it's changed. a president obama presents 2012 national medal of arts and humanities in a sermon at the white house. recipients included george lucas and kay ryan. this is 30 minutes.
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♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and first lady obama. [applause] >> hello, everybody. thank you so much. thank you. hey! thank you. everybody, please have a seat. see, everybody is cheering because i've bought their books, i've seen their movies, i buy
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their records. [laughter] so we're major contributors here. well, hello, everybody, and welcome to the white house. thank you for joining us to celebrate the recipients of the 2012 because i guess this is retrospective -- national medal of arts and national humanities medals. one of the special privileges of this office is getting a chance to honor individuals who've played an important role in my life as well as in the nation's life. and that's what today is all about -- celebrating some extraordinary men and women who've used their talents in the arts and the humanities to open up minds and nourish souls, and help us understand what it means to be human, and what it means to be an american. i want to give some special thanks to the people who help to
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preserve and to support that cultural legacy -- the acting chairwoman of the national endowment for the arts, joan shigekawa. [applause] give joan a big round of applause. where is she? there she is. and her predecessor, the irrepressible rocco landesman, as well as the acting chairwoman of the national endowment for the humanities, carole watson. [applause] both organizations do an incredible job lifting up some of today's best artists and scholars, and helping to cultivate the next generation of talent and intellect. and i'd like to also acknowledge the co-chairs of the president's committee on the arts and humanities, george stevens, jr. where's george?
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there he is. [applause] as well as margo lion -- where's margo? good to see you. [applause] as well as members of congress who are here today, all of whom support the arts. but we are primarily here to acknowledge these incredible individuals. and, frankly, this is just fun for me because i feel like i know you all because i've enjoyed your performances. your writings have fundamentally changed me, i think for the better, marilynne. i believe that. at first glance, this is a pretty diverse group. we've got incredible singers and dancers. we have poets and producers, musicians, playwrights, scholars.
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they come from all across the country, all around the world. and yet, for all their differences, today's honorees have one thing in common -- and that is they are teachers. whether they realize it or not, they've taught us about ourselves and about our world. american philosopher will durant once wrote, "the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." and that's an extraordinary skill -- to tell the untold stories of history, to reveal the sculpture that's waiting there in a block of stone, to transform written music into song, to make it look like those planes in space are actually flying like they are. [laughter]
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i'm just saying, i remember when i first saw "star wars." there's a whole generation that thinks special effects always look like they do today. but it used to be you'd see, like, the string on the little model spaceships. [laughter] anyway, i'm being led astray. because the arts and the humanities aren't just a source of entertainment, they challenge us to think and to question and to discover, to seek that inward significance -- and that helps us grow and to change and to reach new heights, and to understand each other at a time when the world is constantly crying for the capacity to bridge that gap and speak to people who aren't like us.
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and that's exactly what these artists and these humanists have done, by working hard, developing their craft, following their dreams, never giving up. somebody like allen toussaint, who is being honored here for his incredible contributions to the rhythm and blues and jazz music of his beloved new orleans. after his hometown was battered by katrina and allen was forced to evacuate, he did something even more important for his city he went back. and since then, allen has devoted his musical talent to lifting up and building up a city. and today, he's taking the stage all over the world, with all kinds of incredible talent, doing everything he can to revive the legendary soul of the big easy. somebody like ernest gaines, who grew up as the descendent of sharecroppers in the south and
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farming the same land as his ancestors. he did not let that define his future. instead, he took that experience and used it to help fill in gaps in american literature with the stories of african american life. and then, ernest moved back to louisiana, onto the very same land he and his family had once worked. and he spent more than 20 years teaching college students to find their own voices and reclaiming some of the stories of their own families and their own lives. somebody like joan didion, who rightly, has earned distinction as one of most celebrated american writers of her generation. i'm surprised she hasn't already gotten this award. but in her early years, she was in school only sporadically, basically taught herself how to read while she and her family followed her army officer father around the country. she obviously learned quickly.
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she won a contest for vogue in college, gave up her dream of being an oceanographer, writing became her world. and today, decades into her career, she remains one of our sharpest and most respected observers of american politics and culture. what's true for those three is true for all the recipients here. so many of you have touched me and touched michelle, and now we're trying to get them to -- malia and sasha to see some of anna's work, or read "the iliad" because we want to share that, because we think it was important to us. and we celebrate people like our honorees here today not just because of their talent, but
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because they create something new. they create a new space and that becomes a lasting contribution to american life. and that's true for all of these honorees. so together, the men and women with us today have helped us appreciate individual talent, but as i said earlier, they've also helped us to bridge our differences -- to recognize all the things we share as americans, whether it's arts or humanities or sports. frank, i grew up reading "sports illustrated," and i think it was very good for me. [laughter] i don't know about you. because all these endeavors, they don't discriminate, they don't prejudge -- they speak to all of us equally if we're open to it. they're part of all of our common heritage. they convey all these distinct voices and emotions and stories, and that's us.
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that's who we are. so for more than 200 years that culture has helped shape our views of democracy and freedom and tolerance and progress. sometimes the observations or the incredible art or scholarship that's been done by these honorees are overlooked, but somewhere they're having an impact. and like bobby kennedy talked about, they create "ripples of hope." they're like stones in a lake, and it emanates, and we never know exactly how, or who, will be touched by it. but it makes a difference. and it's made us better. and the work that we honor today, the lifetime achievement of these artists and these scholars, reminds us that the human imagination is still the most powerful tool that we have as a people. that's why we celebrate their creativity and the fundamental optimism, the notion that if
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they work that hard somebody will actually pay attention. that's why we have to remain committed to the dreamers and the creators and innovators who fuel that progress and help us light the way ahead, because our children, our grandchildren deserve to grow up in a country where their dreams know no bounds and their ambitions extend as far as their talents and hard work can take them. and it's important that they have examples -- people who've carved out a path for them. so i want to thank today's honorees for doing their part to foster that spirit, to enrich our entire nation. every one of them has helped us see beyond outward appearances and appreciate the significance of what's within. and for that we are incredibly grateful. so it is now my privilege to present these medals to each of them as one of our military aides reads their citations. [applause]
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>> national medal of arts recipients. herb alpert. [applause] for his varied contributions to music and the fine arts. the musician behind tijuana brass phenomenon and co-founder of a&m records, which launched several storied careers, mr. alpert is also a philanthropist who shares the power of arts education with young people across our country. [applause]
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lin arison. [applause] for her contributions as a philanthropist and arts education advocate. co-founder of the national youngarts foundation and the new world symphony, ms. arison's work celebrates, showcases, and supports the next generation of great american artists. [applause]
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joan myers brown. [applause] for her contributions as a dancer, choreographer and artistic director. founder of the philadelphia dance company, ms. brown carved out an artistic haven for african american dancers and choreographers to innovate, create, and share their unique visions with the national and global dance communities. [applause] renee fleming. [applause]
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for her contributions to american music. known to many as "the people's diva," ms. fleming has captivated audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop. [applause] ernest j. gaines. [applause] for his contributions as an
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author and teacher. drawing deeply from his childhood in the rural south, his works have shed new light on the african american experience and given voice to those who have endured injustice. [applause] ellsworth kelly. [applause] for his contributions as a painter, sculptor and printmaker. a careful observer of form, color and the natural world, mr. kelly has shaped more than half a century of abstraction and
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remains a vital influence in american art. [applause] tony kushner. [applause] for his contributions to american theater and film. whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy, and the philosophical to the personal. [applause]
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george lucas. [applause] for his contributions to american cinema. by combining the art of storytelling with boundless imagination and cutting-edge techniques, mr. lucas has transported us to new worlds and created some of the most beloved and iconic films of all time. [applause]
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elaine may. [applause] for her contributions to american comedy. with groundbreaking wit and a keen understanding of how humor can illuminate our lives, ms. may has evoked untold joy, challenged expectations, and elevated spirits across our nation. [applause] laurie olin. [applause] for his contributions as a
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preeminent landscape architect. renowned for his acute sense of harmony and balance between nature and design, mr. olin has dedicated his energy to shaping many iconic spaces around the world and to educating new leaders in his art. [applause] allen toussaint. [applause] for his contributions as a composer, producer and performer. born and raised in new orleans, mr. toussaint has built a legendary career alongside america's finest musicians, sustaining his city's rich
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tradition of rhythm and blues, and lifting it to the national stage. [applause] accepting on behalf of washington performing arts society, jenny bellfield. [applause] for bringing world-class performances to our nation's capital. from concert hall premieres to in-school workshops, washington performing arts society has drawn renowned artists to the washington community and inspired generations of young performers to follow their passions.
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[applause] national humanities medal recipients. edward l. ayers. [applause] for his commitment to making our history as widely available and accessible as possible. dr. ayers's innovations in digital humanities extend higher learning beyond campus boundaries and allow broad audiences to discover the past in new ways. [applause] accepting on behalf of william
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g. bowen, david bowen. [applause] for his contributions to the study of economics and his probing research on higher education in america. while his widely discussed publications have scrutinized the effects of policy, dr. bowen has used his leadership to put theories into practice and strive for new heights of academic excellence. [applause] jill ker conway. [applause] for her contributions as a
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historian and trailblazing academic leader. dr. conway has inspired generations of scholars, and her studies of exceptional and empowered women have revealed a common drive that unites women across the globe to create, to lead, and to excel. [applause] natalie zemon davis. [applause] for her insights into the study of history and her exacting eloquence in bringing the past into focus. with vivid description and exhaustive research, her works allow us to experience life through our ancestors' eyes and to engage truly with our
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history. [applause] frank deford. [applause] for transforming how we think about sports. a dedicated writer and storyteller, mr. deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love. [applause]
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joan didion. [applause] for her mastery of style in writing. exploring the culture around us and exposing the depths of sorrow, ms. didion has produced works of startling honesty and fierce intellect, rendered personal stories universal, and illuminated the seemingly peripheral details that are central to our lives. [applause]
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robert d. putnam. [applause] for deepening our understanding of community in america. examining how patterns of engagement divide and unite, dr. putnam's writing and research inspire us to improve institutions that make society worth living in, and his insights challenge us to be better citizens. [applause] marilynne robinson.
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[applause] for her grace and intelligence in writing. with moral strength and lyrical clarity, dr. robinson's novels and nonfiction have traced our ethical connections to people in our lives, explored the world we inhabit, and defined universal truths about what it means to be human. [applause] kay ryan. [applause] for her contributions as a poet
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and educator. a former poet laureate of the united states, her witty and compact verse infused with subtle wordplay, reminds us of the power of language to evoke wisdom from the ordinary. [applause] robert b. silvers. [applause] for offering critical perspectives on writing. as the editor and co-founder of the new york review of books, he has invigorated our literature with cultural and political commentary, and elevated the book review to a literary art form.
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[applause] anna deavere smith. [applause] for her portrayal of authentic american voices. through profound performances and plays that blend theater and journalism, she has informed our understanding of social issues and conveyed a range of disparate characters. [applause]
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camilo jose vergara. [applause] for his stark visual representation of american cities. by capturing images of urban settings over time, his sequences reflect the vibrant culture of our changing communities and document the enduring spirit that shines through decay. [applause] >> let's give our honorees one more big round of applause. you guys are awesome.
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well, i could not imagine a more deserving group of honorees. we are thrilled to have them here. fear not, the party is not over. my understanding is the food here at the white house is not bad. and we may get some nice tunes from our marine band -- they can play anything, so feel free to make requests. but to all the honorees, thank you, again, for enriching our lives in so many different ways. we're going to have an opportunity to see you and your families, and take some pictures with the honorees. in the meantime, enjoy the reception. and thank you all. i hope you've enjoyed it. thank you. earlier, someone
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touched upon the idea that women could really not predict the roles in entering into the white house. i did find one political observer who commented that merry started with mr. lincoln when he was a poor young man and attainingre idea of the presidency them becoming a cannibal. i set out in my book that's mary lincoln taught him something called human sacrifice. she was very determined woman. she did talk about mr. lincoln 's role of entering the white house. she was a true heart in her. of -- she was a true partner. >> as we continue our series on first ladies, we will look at the role of the first lady and how it has changed. at monday night at 9 p.m. eastern on c- span. service forrial
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the 19 arizona firefighters who died last month. the 19 members for from the hotshot unit. among those speaking at the service, the one survivor, arizona governor jan brewer, and vice president joe biden. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we will present the names of the fallen hotshot crew. in order to assist us with presentations, we ask that only one representative for each family to stand when your loved one's name is called. and you remain standing until the presenter reaches your seats. at that point, members of the family who wish to receive the american flag, the arizona flag,
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and the pulaski tool. eric marsh. jesse steed. clayton whitted. robert caldwell. travis carter. chris mackenzie. travis turbyfill. andrew ashcraft.
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joe thurston. wade parker. anthony rose. -- scottscott norris. norris. dustin deford. william warneke. kevin woyjeck. john percin.
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grant mckee. sean misner. >> ready.♪ ♪
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♪ >> ♪ when i am down and, oh my soul, so weary, when troubles come and my heart burdened be, then, i am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit awhile with me. you raise me up, so i can stand on mountains, you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas, i am strong, when i am on your shoulders; you raise me up, to more than i can be.
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you raise me up, so i can stand on mountains, you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas, i am strong, when i am on your shoulders, you raise me up, to more than i
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can be. there is no life - no life without its hunger, each restless heart beats so imperfectly, but when you come and i am filled with wonder, sometimes, i think i glimpse eternity. you raise me up, so i can stand on mountains, you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas, i am strong, when i am on your
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shoulders, you raise me up, to more than i can be. you raise me up, to more than i ♪an be. >> i am pleased to introduce the mayor, martin kuykendall.he has been the city councilman and
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was elected to the position of mayor in 2009. mr. mayor? >> it is still morning, so i would like to say good morning families, and ladies and gentlemen. the granite mountain hotshots were the ultimate team of people. a family of brothers when they were away from their own families. also very important that we remember that they were brilliant and caring individuals. each playing his unique and important role in this world. they were fathers, brothers,
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sons, friends, mentors, and leaders. whether they were born in prescott or become a part of our community, we consider each of them to be one of our sons. and as an extension that each family is part of the community of prescott. it is a small town. and what i pledge to you today is that we will do our best to remember each man in his own right. we'll be here to support you, to include you, to cry with you, to laugh with you, and to remember with you. prescott will always be a home
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to you if you want us. we are honored to have you as a part of our family. i hope that commitment brings you some comfort as you struggle to move forward and remember your loved ones as they lived. full of life and promise and passion for you and their work. who loved you, but also loved being known as a granite mountain hotshots. in the fire world, these men were world trained crew who protected families, lives, and properties across the nation. they made a difference to thousands of families with the work that they did and loved. the term "fallen firefighters,"
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has been used to describe these men and their sacrifices. i think of them not as having fallen, but rather as having risen. risen far above any of us to a place of peace and comfort. to the families and friends, to the hotshot crews that are here today and fought fires along with our great men, i pray for your healing. i hope my words and more importantly that our continued support of you for years to come will bring give comfort. thank you and god bless. [applause]
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>> at this time, i am pleased to present our governor jan brewer. she has been an advocate of the firefighting community in arizona and i have had the privilege of working with her on numerous issues to further protect our firefighters, their families, and our communities. madam governor? [applause] >> thank you, jim. mr. vice president, senators, secretary napolitano, federal officials, members of congress, state legislators, and local officials, and my fellow
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arizonans. good morning. on behalf of the people of the state of arizona and especially the citizens in and around yarnell, thank you for being here today. together, we can begin our healing. we come today to honor and mourn 19 great men. they were protectors, defending our community, safeguarding our friends, family, and strangers alike. they were 19 heroes gone at the turn of the wind. to the families who lost husbands and fathers, brothers and sons, we cannot truly know your grief. but you are in our thoughts and
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prayers and will always. our hearts are filled with profound sadness today. but they are also filled with great pride. how wonderful it is to know that arizona was home to 19 men like those we honor today. while not all of the 19 men were from arizona, we claim each one as our own. these men aspired to be firefighters and adored -- endured the training and discipline to gain that title. they carried out their duties with honor worthy of the name, granite mountain hotshots.
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while we grieve and mourn the tragic loss of these great men and do our best to console their beautiful families, we cannot despair. god teaches us not to despair, but to have hope. peter 5:10 says the god of all grace who calls us to our in into eternal christ after you have suffered a little while will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. the brave 19 are in a gentle embrace of god and they continue to protect. i am filled with hope the way the communities have come together in the wake of this
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tragedy. it is hope that firefighters from all over the country pouring into this region to battle yarnell hill fire. arizonans have responded. like i knew they would. with candlelight vigils and prayers, generous financial contributions, with flowers, and notes placed it gently at makeshift memorials. this is the arizona i know. the hope i have in my heart is fortified by knowing that americans all across his country have prayed for the brave 19 we lost and their families and have provided resources to this community.
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to america, i say, thank you. i also appreciate the swiftness of assistance we received from the federal government to tackle the fire. i want to thank president obama for his kind words in the wake of this tragedy and for offering any assistance our state needs during this trying time. mr. vice president, please take our gratitude. arizona and america are united in prayer and in admission of recovery with god's grace and with time, we will recover. to the 19, we will never forget their sacrifice and that of your family. it is our duty now to help and to protect your family.
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may god bless and watch over them. may god bless and protect the many firefighters and first responders who serve so courageously every day and may god bless the great state of arizona and her people. it is now my honor to introduce the vice president of the united states, vice president joe biden. [applause] >> governor, thank you for introducing me and our heart goes out to you and the mayor and the people of prescott and arizona for the terrible tragedy
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you have endured. chief willis, chief dan fraijo, my good and close friend, we have unfortunately shared too many stages like this. honoring fallen firefighters. to brendan mcdonough, thank god. and the governor of new mexico, my friend. the seven members of congress are here. especially the one who met me at the airport and welcomed me to arizona. and to senator jeff flake, a fiveve son of arizona.
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generations. and to my friend and companion for over three decades, a man i admire as much as any man i have ever met, john mccain. john knew my mom. my mom used to say, you are defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty. i can think of no better definition of john mccain than that. a man like the men we honor today. a man of uncommon valor. jill and i, along with the two secretaries who are with us
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today, your former governor as secretary of the interior. we are humbled to be here with you. standing in front of the families of the men we honor today and so many of their brethren. psalm 122:1 reads, i will lift my eyes to the hills for whence cometh my help. it came. it came in the form of 20 granite hotshots who rushed
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toward the flames as everyone else retreated. and in the process, 19 of them gave their lives. these are the most the most disciplined, tenacious, physically fit men in the world. and a lead unit in every sense of that phrase. -- an elite unit in every sense of the phrase. their motto sums them up. "duty, integrity, respect." they saw their jobs not as jobs, but as a duty to their fellow citizens.
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they understood what you do. integrity is measured by whether you respond to the needs of your neighbors, when you know you are one of the few, and only once the have the capacity to respond. and respect, they showed respect time and again for the innocents caught in the path of the fires, desperate to save their families, and in most cases, the one thing the only truly own, their home. these men, the granite mountain
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hotshots, were part of a small, elite band of firefighters. only 108 hotshot crews and all of america, and many are here today to honor the fallen. to understand what i mean about their courage and valor, look into the eyes of these men and women. just look into their eyes. you need not do anything else to understand. these folks were firefighters who lived life to the fullest every single day. they raced to embrace life just as they race to embrace the fight against raging fires, the
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raging fire on the hill. they embrace life to save lives. i did not have the privilege of knowing any one of these heroes personally. but i know them. i know them. a cliff jumper, rock climber, i biker, a football player, a veteran, a son of a firefighter. i know them. confident, committee, determined, trustworthy, passionate, they were firefighters. i know them because they saved the life of my two sons when a tractor-trailer broadsided my daughter, my wife, and my two sons. my wife and daughter died, but
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for my fire service, my two sons would've. the jaws of life working for 1.5 hours save them. -- saved them. they saved my guys, my like allters. firefighters. they saved my life in the middle of a snowstorm, when i had to be rushed to a hospital.given a 30% chance of living with a cranial aneurysm. it was my fire company. i know them. you saved my home and my wife jill when lightning struck my home and engulfed all three floors with thickets of smoke that no one could enter.
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but thank god, one could leave. jill and i know you. you are a rare breed. there is an old saying. all men are created equal, and then a few became firefighters. all men are created equal, but then, a few became firefighters. thank god for you all. thank god for your willingness to take the risks that you do. we all owe you. to myso owe your families.
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left and my right. because you supported them. you supported these hotshots. the english poet john milton wrote, "they also serve who only "they also serve who only stand and wait." the 19 fell were not only heroes on sunday, june 30, 2013. to you, the families, they were heroes long before we knew their names.
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you not only know, but now feel in your very bones the meaning of the words of john chapter 13. verse 15. greater love hath no man than this am a that a man lay down his life for his friends. what makes you family members incredible, the husband's, the wives, the moms, dads, the children, you knew since they chose to be firefighters, since they joined the hotshot crew, you knew they were risking laying down their lives every single time they answered a call. every time they walked out the door, you knew it may be the last time you would see that
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confident smile, feel that tender touch. hear that voice saying, "i love you." from the time they reached the door, you lived in fear of that dreaded phone call, fearing the worst, and when it came, the pain and the loss were more profound than you ever imagined. i know, i remember getting that call. the feeling of being sucked into a giant void in your chest. the attempt to suspend reality, the sense of slow-motion.
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my god, this cannot be true. yet, you supported them. you knew that firefighting was not what they did, it was who they were. now, your loved ones join an incredible list of elite firefighters, and a long history, filled with ordinary americans doing extraordinary, extraordinary things. common resolve, and uncommon perseverance in the face of unfathomable challenges.
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you know, we teach our children that these qualities of courage and resolve, and perseverance, these qualities are ingrained in our national character as americans. i believe they are. i believe they intimate our national identity. i believe america will continue to define by the example of the 19, ordinary men who did extraordinary things. the amazing thing is, not one of them doubted the danger they face. not one of you in front of me doubts the danger you will face when the call comes again. yet, take the risk when you hear the call.
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you respond. they responded as they always did, running toward danger, not away from it. the opposite of human instinct. they acted. they acted as citizen patriots have acted since the beginning of this country. they stood up and stood their ground. when we think of the 19, it gives us confidence as a people. confidence knowing that ordinary citizens have the capacity to do such extraordinary things, to stare down fear, overwhelmed danger, and bring hope to the hopelessness. it continues to amaze us, but it should not surprise us. the act of selflessness our
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definition of who your husband, brother, your son, your father was. my guess is, without knowing them, they were not there just to fight fires. they were there to line the little league field. they were there when somebody's car broke down. they were there. they were there. they were always there. my mother had another expression. she said, courage lies in every heart. expectation is that one day it will be summoned. on sunday, june 30, 2013, it was summoned. 20 incredible men answered the in doing so,
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to paraphrase john 15, they laid down their lives so that others could live. 19 of them. i know we know all of them were heroes long before we knew them. they are the fathers that tuck you in bed at night, the husband who knew your fears before you even had to express them. the brother who lifted you up, and made you smile. they were the sons that brought you joy just saying their face. it made you proud and grateful to god that you had them.
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we know that they are irreplaceable. we all know that. we know as well, no memorial service, no words, no acts can fill the void that is left in your hearts. we also know the collective spirit of your father, son, husband, brother, that spirit lives on in every single one of you. it inspires no one the 6000 people here come -- people here, but the millions watching and hearing about your family members as i speak. it lives on the character of the hotshots assembled here today, in the heart of every firefighter who was ever answered the call.
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we owe you, your families, a gigantic debt beyond what we can never pay. -- what we can ever pay. i also know from personal experience, as unbelievable as it is, as unbelievable as it is to fathom it, the day will come when the memory of your husband, your son, your dad, your brother will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. my prayer for all of you is that that day will come sooner than later. i promise you, as unbelievable as it is, it will come. it will come.
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in the words of the hymn we heard the beginning, i hope for you as it may lift you up on eagles wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, and make the sun to shine on you. because it will, it will again. it will again. may god bless you all. may god and place your family members -- embrace your family members. may everyone know that there is an entire family in brotherhood and sisterhood of firefighters that will be there for you the rest of your lives. god bless you all, and may god protect firefighters everywhere. ♪applause]
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>> ♪ oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. for purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plains.
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america, america, god shed his andce on thee. crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea -- children's the wildnerness
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america, america, god mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law o beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life america, america may god thy gold refine
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till all success be nobleness and every gain divine o beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain america, america god shed his grace on thee
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and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea ♪ >> the fire officers and firefighters and the fire department represented by the prescott chapter of the united firefighters, local 3066.
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it is my pleasure to introduce our local president and my for the past nine days, dan has literally been everywhere. the families of our fallen heroes, tending to the needs, and assisting with funeral arrangements, to make sure that the wishes and each -- of each family are honored. dan has worked tirelessly to address the needs of his membership, and their families, during these tragic times. brother bates. [laughter] >> i was waiting for that.
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[applause] thank you. to all the distinguished guests in attendance today, thank you for joining us. i stand before you today hoping to do justice to 20 heroes, an organization that continues to display heroism in the face of tragedy. i'm speaking of the 19 members of the granite mountain hotshots who gave the ultimate sacrifice on june 30, 2013. and of brendan mcdonough, who is carried on the strength of his fallen brothers. [applause]
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i am also speaking of the fire department faced with an unimaginable loss our organization has come together with love, compassion, and resilience to mourn, honor, and carry on our mission of serving on and helping others in their
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greatest time of need. nine days, that is all it has been. in that time we have grieved and cried together, shared emotions, and asked over and over one pointed question. why? personally, i have struggled with that question for days. each time, i have returned to jeremiah 29, verse 11. i know the plans i have for you declares the lord. plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. plans to give you hope and a future. as part of the days have been, -- as hard as the past few days
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have been, as deep as the loss reaches, i believe there is strength in that message. i believe these men were, and are part of the divine plan. it is a thought that maybe difficult if not impossible to comprehend. i have faith that god placed these men here for a reason. to protect the community they love, and to serve the folks who saintshis area home. placing a guarded hand, and protect us they did. not just on june 30, but or many years, and in many ways. the hotshots spent more than 500 days in the field battling wildfires. they were responsible for
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improving defensible space to more than 8400 homes and treating more than 1600 acres of public lands, both in and around prescott. they did public education. the author community disaster they did public education. they helped train other firefighters to do what they did. keep us safe from fires. they did snow removal in storms. they assisted with medical emergencies. they performed technical rescues pretty anything needed. these hotshots stepped up and fill the void. they did not blink at danger. their courage never wavered. in 2002, were done by the phils --

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